Who could have thought that today would turn out to be this hard?
First I woke up at 5 in the morning and had to run straight to the loo.
– There is just not much glory in the aftermath of an unsanitary meal. –
I was eventually able to go back to sleep, but when I woke up again it had already gotten late and a 30k road was calling:
People had told me about the mountains that lay ahead:
…the big snowy mountains that came closer and closer:
One thing that really surprised me was this short earthen wall that had a very strong resemblance to the western Great Wall around Jiayuguan 嘉峪关:
What if this was in fact part of the Great Wall, who knows? That would have been my second encounter with it (achromatic – again).
Whatever the case, it was beautiful to look at, and uplifting to think of it as part of the legendary Great Wall:
As you can see I was making my way high into the green hills, where the only people around were motorcyclists:
…and more motorcyclists:
…and the occasional lonesome shepherd:
Many a flock of sheep lined my way up the mountain pass:
Oh how I loved my big fat yaks!
I even left the road and stalked up and down across the hills, just to get a better view around in case there were any of them hiding anywhere:
Then I got to the pass at 3030m:
I thought it might be interesting to look at an altitude profile of today’s way:
The little ups and downs just before the peak are the hills that I climbed in order to look for the hiding yaks.
Well, I felt pretty dumb when I actually found a herd just a bit later – right next to the road:
The shepherd told me that he had a couple of animals who occasionally went after people, so I didn’t dare to go near for close-ups:
Even mean yaks are pretty, I thought.
The rest of the way went easy, just down-down-down-down from the mountain pass:
I was tired as hell though when I finally got to the small settlement of Anyuan:
The thing is: I had only eaten four bananas and a rice congee all day, mainly because of my bad stomach earlier, and because of the absolute lack of restaurants later in the mountains.
…and since it was already very late when I had finally arrived at my destination, the only trustworthy thing that I could find was a bowl of cup noodles that I bought in a shop on the way:
As I was pouring the hot water over the instant noodles in the paper cup, I sent a short desperate wish to whatever deity was in charge of people’s bowels: please don’t let me get sick tonight, please don’t let me get sick tonight, just PLEASE don’t let me get sick tonight!
The facilities in my “motel” were more than I could bare, even after all these months.