The winter has not loosened it’s grip quite yet 1

Haha – yesterday I wrote that the winter had loosened it’s grip. It snowed tonight, and there were about 4 centimeters of fresh snow this morning. I was very happy to be in the lowlands. I would have had serious problems to walk the route I did two days ago under these conditions. Considering that the next stretch is also mountainous, and that I have to pick up my visa (extension) in Datong, I decided enough was enough. I’ll be back when the snow is gone.

Waiting with a group of people that were heading for Datong, a woman from another bus came over and said that there were no buses to Datong today because of the very slippery conditions on the road. She said I should hitch a ride with their bus, and take a bus from their destination to Datong. I saw her reasoning, but just to be on the safe side asked her to point out where they were heading. They were heading to a smallish town in Inner Mongolia that was farther away from Datong and had absolutely no better way of getting to Datong. This made me angry, and I expressed this. This is the second time in a short period that I have been ‘tricked’. The other was when a motorcycle driver said he had driven me 20 kilometres and wanted money for this, when I knew from my GPS that he had only driven 7 or 8.

I’m going to keep my ‘guard’ higher up on the remainder of the trip. So far I have had no big worries that my belongings would be stolen. I have trusted people to a great degree without regretting it. But I am getting closer to more commercial places now where it is more customary to trick foreigners.

The bus ride to Datong was wild. The bus had to cross the same mountains I crossed by foot two days ago. There was ice and snow on the road, and many times, the whole rear end of the bus would slide from side to side. All the passengers let out a big sigh when we got up and down the mountains without bumping into anything else.

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