This is the second part of Iva's travel diary (following Part I), recording her trip by foot from Chongqing through Yunnan and on to the Burmese border, which is still ongoing. She is following the route written down in Edwin Dingle's book 'Across China on Foot'. Today: a diary excerpt covering the first half of June, getting into Yunnan.
A bit of a slog today to Tangwanxian and my feet feel it. It was hot (34°C) and I had to cover the distance I didn't do yesterday because of the invite to stay in the government village. Lots of construction going on... mainly private houses. But some interesting architecture! This gentleman passed me on the road and my excuse is that his basket was empty. Long stretches of no vehicles... just crickets, birds, dragonflies and vegetation tumbling into the river.
Substantially more traffic on the road today. Although it rained yesterday, it was still very dusty especially as a lot of road construction was going on. Interesting that parts of the road are made from stone bricks. Slowed down the cars and scooters but not the trucks! Still followed the Hengjiang River surrounded by spectacular forests. Less clusters of houses along the road moving south from Pu'erzhen. Walked about 24 km to Yanjinzhen which is very much growing and with a rather impressive staircase leading up from the square. Hot today, so I savoured every pineapple flavoured crystal of my ice stick.
A bit of a different day today. I was about 15 km outside Jilizhen when two traffic police offered to help me to Daguan. They took me to the mini bus station in Heba next I knew I was travelling to Daguan. And pleased that I did. It was very hot, the road became a major road and most of it was under construction. It would have been a terrible walk. Staying in Daguan for two days to look around and rest. Looks like a beautiful spot. And for something different, guess what I usually have for breakfast....
The best discovery here in Zhaotong was the plant market. Such a range of plant products! And some interesting animals....grubs, salamanders, eels. Mao statute was in the main square. Dingle mentioned peaches which were plentiful. Interesting pedestrian street.
Dingle mentioned the shortage of inns in this part of China and this has not changed. I only walked about 14 km to Yongfengzhen because there are very few towns or larger villages along this stretch of the road. My map shows a couple of accommodation hotels about 17 km from Yongfengzhen so I will walk there tomorrow. I may need to catch a bus from there to Yichezen. But it was a very busy market day here in Yongdengzhen. The cupping treatment had me mesmerized.
Today it's all about the road. The good news is that it was not dusty and very few cars and trucks. Why? Road G213 was totally under construction and a quagmire of mud. At one point I thought I didn't even have a road and had to scramble down a small gully. The original road is rock cobblestones. A great gridlock at one point. Some nice scenery not far south of Yichizhen. Then not so interesting... mainly low hills terraced with corn. My shoes will never be the same!
A truly dismal day in Dongchuan. I walked up the hill to Dongchuan Forest Park and the heavens opened up and it is still raining. Relaxing, laundry and planning day. Found a real treat....tiramasu cake. Yummy. Also found picture of what the old road was like to Dongchuan. This would be the standard of road taken by Dingle. He spent a number of months here recovering from a broken arm, dysentery and malaria.
To be continued soon...
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