Drying off

Sunday the 20th of June

After yesterday’s drench, I decided to dry things this morning. The sun was out luckily. My boots were soaking wet on the inside.. The inside soles are of the spongy type, and I squeezed as much water out of them as I could, before putting them in the sun.

My trousers and shirt dried quickly. In my left pocket though, I had all my money and it looked little more than a pile of wet pulp. Carefully I pulled one and one bill apart and dried them.

Most things were OK. My mobile phone and sleeping bag in waterproof satchels. The paper map, a few letters of recommendation that I carry and my passport likewise. The GPS and satellite transmitter are waterproof. The camera was wet and had not been protected. It was OK though, and I put it in the shade.

The boots took longest to dry, but I found it worthwhile to dry them as much as possible until it started getting ‘cooler’ in the afternoon. When I reached a small shop and bought liquids to drink, the woman behind the counter told me it had been 37C in the shade at the warmest. Less than two months ago, I remember it snowing in Zhangjiakou. The spring certainly doesn’t last for long here.

I kept on walking with the Great Wall to the north. Later my girlfriend called and then just after, my brother. It was good to hear familiar voices again. Small talks like this mean a lot, now that I have been away from Norway for so long. Thanks to Skype they are very cheap too.

The sun sets a little before eight p.m. so I pushed on wanting to get the most out of the cooler evening. When I couldn’t differentiate the colours in front of me longer, it was time to find a place to sleep. I went off the road and found a very small open patch in a field of corn on the cob. The patch was just large enough to set up the tent without damaging the crop.

18 kilometres today