The last few days have been pretty wet. A cold wind also swept in from the North making them colder.
The definite highlight of the past days was going back to Panjiakou, which my brother, two friends and I visited in 1998. Panjiakou is a very special place as the Great Wall is submerged by water there as a result of the large reservoir. The whole of the old village called Panjiakou lies in ruins at the bottom of the lake, whilst the people that decided to stay on now live on the new shore by the reservoir.
Although this is all exciting, the most exciting part for me was to see if our friend from our visit in 1998 was still living there.
I hitched a boat ride from the Western shore of the lake, and before reaching my destination it was easy to see there had been a tremendous amount of development in the area. Large parts of the lake are covered with square frames and fish nets for cultivating fish (fiskeoppdrett). There were a lot of new buildings on the shores.
When I was dropped off, I headed for the house of our friend from 12 years ago. Just as I was about to shout if there were any people there, she stepped out. I recognized her straight away. After a second, she took my hand, and led me to one of those picture frames with old pictures. And there was a picture of my brother, two friends and I together with her family.
I never thought I would find a picture of us hanging in a Chinese home like that. It was quite moving. We sat down to a good ‘what has happened the last 12 years talk’. She had visitors, and was pretty busy preparing a meal for them.
Just about when my Chinese ran out, brother Jon called from Scotland, and had a good chat with her. I’m so happy it worked out as he had a busy schedule. A very happy moment and evening!
I was invited to join her visitors for the evening meal which had lots of juicy dishes. They were a lively bunch, and with a small traveller’s dictionary we had plenty to talk about.
As the main keyboard on the phone is out of order, I’m writing this on the numeric keyboard which is pretty time consuming. Will try to get a new, not too expensive, phone soon because otherwise this will take too long.
13, 18, 5, 7 and 18 kilometres the last days