So I’m finally on my way again.
The way… it was constantly changing its appearances today.
After the city there was this:
…then the trees went away:
…and then everything else seemed to want to leave the scene as well:
I was all alone – just me and the way I thought.
But then the camels appeared:
Camels, camels, camels – wild camels!! I rejoiced, knowing that it couldn’t be true; those things roam around only in the furthest corners of the Inner Mongolian desert, not out here right next to the highway.
But still, I rejoiced:
Then their boss appeared:
“Camels can run really fast can’t they” I inquire, “so what do you do if one of them tries to run away?”
“No problem” he answers, and I marvel at his confidence, “I just get on top of one of the others and ride after it!”
One last question: “does that often happen? Do they like to run?”
“Yes, every once in a while they do,” he says, and there is a smile on his face.
Then he’s gone, trying to catch up with one of his camels that has just decided to play on the road:
I haven’t told you yet: I accidentally managed to find a little shop in Dunhuang that carried a small amount of my beloved beans in red sauce – in cans! So I bought them all and loaded them into the Caboose. That (and the additional water supply) is why my backpack had to move out:
…and I used to carry everything on my own shoulders… it’s really been a long way. There are markers on the road indicating the distance to my next target location:
A total of 130km to Liuyuan 柳园. Should be possible in 4 days.I share the road mainly with truck drivers. A lot of them like to just honk at me. I hate that.
But then there are also some good people like Mr. Wang 王先生, who quietly stopped his truck on the curb today and took a break to inspect his tires, just as I was walking by. We eyed at each other for a little while, like two strangers standing in a giant elevator, then he suddenly smiled and waved me over – to give me a melon:
What a nice present, and a token of friendliness that felt especially good out here in the loneliness of the desert.
By the way, there was someone else keeping me company all the while:
My good friend, the Great Wall.
I don’t mean this just as a metaphor for something that I like and hold dear.
The Wall’s calm and mighty presence really feels comforting to me: