Walking into the desert 1

I left Jingbian at about eleven o’clock this morning. Because of heavy traffic in Yulin, a few police controls and picking up more passengers en route, I was not at the Great Wall before a little past three o’clock. The shop where I had planned to buy water was closed. Luckily a few teachers at the school nearby, took mercy on me and gave me four litres of water.

In addition I have brought two Gong bao ji ding courses, rice, chocolate biscuits, chocolates, three eggs and more than 750 grams of oatmeal, so I’m not going to starve any time soon.

After walking around a lake, I headed straight north following the Great Wall. The desert here consists of fine sand. Some places, the Great Wall formed what seemed to be a road through the desert which was easy to walk on and follow. Other places, the sand had taken over, so I had to climb the sand dunes. There are also plants and scrubs here. Most of them are only a foot or two high, while others are 3 metres/10 feet high.

I wonder if there has been a project to rebuild the Great Wall here? In some places the watchtowers, originally built from rammed earth, had an outer layer of what looked like pretty modern bricks.

The afternoon was perfect for walking. Although I tried to keep a pretty fast pace and there was a lot of climbing the sand dunes in places, I hardly started sweating. As the sun started setting it got chilly. I have a hole on the top of my left shoe. Every time sand got in, I could feel it cooling down my foot reaching the point where they got too cold.

I am glad to be back along the Great Wall and excited to see what the terrain will be like tomorrow.

10 kilometres today

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