Yesterday evening, I wanted to examine the route to Zhongwei. Then I realized that all Google.com sites were blocked. How convenient. Google Earth – my route planning tool was down – Google maps and Google mail. Luckily I have a province map and had looked at the route earlier. It will take 4-5 days to get to Zhongwei. There are small towns about 20 kilometres apart the whole way.
At about two o’clock it got very hot and I took a break under some trees that were amongst the last I expect to see for a while. I rested, drank and ate and then went on until about four o’clock. It was still way too warm and I started sweating a lot from a slow walk. When I eventually got to a shop I decided to stay there for a while.
I bought some more Ice tea and noodles.The owner of the place and I started to talk and I explained what I was doing. People are starting to say that they think my pronunciation is good now. Don’t know if it is out of pity, or because they mean it. I thank them and say the pronunciation may be good, but my understanding of Chinese is still below the level of a novice. Then I explain by saying that the word Wife can have five different names, while I know only a couple of them. Well I know more now, since I used the word as an example, but you get the point.
Anyway – I try to ask my Chinese friends that I meet along the walk, for one or two new words that are helpful and hopefully by the end of the year I will manage better. It also helps a lot to have installed a dictionary on my htc telephone. It weighs nothing and is a true help both from English to Chinese and vice versa using Pinyin. (This is the way of describing pronunciation of Chinese charracters using the Roman alphabet.) Only snag is that I have not sorted Chinese characters on the phone, so have to try and get that sorted.
I expect the next 7-8 weeks to be as hot or hotter than today. On the rest of this stretch, I will try to split the day into two cooler walking sessions and then eat and sleep from about 2 o’clock till 6. I see no point in sweating heavily at mid-day.
Towards the end of the day, I thought I’d try my luck at a small garage to get the rubber tips of my walking sticks renewed. After two months walking, the ones I brought have almost no rubber left. The guy went over to a wheel and got out a small saw cutting a piece of rubber. Then he filed them to a round shape and I had two new rubber tips on the walking sticks. I only tested them for a few km, but they seem to do the job well!
This evening I walked till about nine, when it got dark, and set up the tent in semi darkness, but am used to it now, so no problem.
Lying in my underpants in the tent now, looking at the thinnest crest of the moon setting and the big dipper pointing at the Northen star. Time to eat some left overs from yesterday and drink an Ice tea. I want to set off early tomorrow.
A nice guy stopped his car on the road and offered to host me in his home, but I graciously said ‘no’, since I wanted to walk on. He lives in the town I pass tomorrow and I said I would pop by his restaurant. That is if I find it. All I know is it is on the right hand side. Hope the place isn’t too big…