Many thanks for advice about emergency water supply in the form of water blisters.
So far we have not had to apply the advice. I’ve only had one blister on my right little toe, and it is under control.
To begin with we carried 5 or 6 litres of water each. As it turns out we only use about 2 litres a day, assuming that one of the meals is with a farmer or somewhere else. This makes our load 4 kg lighter. It doesn’t sound much but is actually a fair bit.
Interestingly, despite that the province we are walking through is called Gansu Province, it has been formed by two earlier districts which were named “Gan” and “Su”. It is fed by water from the mountains and they have a good irrigation system where needed. Judging from the last time I was here, there is more water here than in many other northern provinces and it bears a direct relationship to how pleased and happy they are. One farmer said, “We have enough water, so we laugh aloud!”
Otherwise, the way we have been received has been overwhelming! Amazing really, for who are we? Just passers by. Have lost count already of the number of small and large favours we have received. Farmers inviting us to stay the night (once saving us from a sand storm), making food, helping us arrange things, driving us from nowhere to Gaotai, and going the extra mile, and driving us to the hotel. I could have continued.
Thankfully my Chinese language skills are holding out fine. I can understand a bit of the local dialect as well.
I am considering saving for a goat moustache since dry shaving the chin is not worth it.
Come to think of it, I have not had a shower since I left the UK 10 days ago. The odd thing is that I do not feel as though I need it! A face cloth seems to suffice. Might ask my brother for a second opinion. Will have one now.
Regarding hygiene, the first couple of days the ground was so dry that it had a thin layer of either a white talcum powder or the grey sandy variant. If one touches the socks, it results in a cloud of dust.