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Published: July 17th 2018
July 13 - The Terracotta Warriors & Train to Lanzhou - Dia 23
Waking up in a bed again and starting the day with warm soy milk, a traditional morning drink around China. Warm foaming soy milk, still have not tried it with coffee 😏
The Terracotta Warriors, supposedly the 8th Wonder of the World. What did I think of it after visiting it? First we had to pay around 30 Canadian Dollars to get in. We tried to get in as students but it did not work as planned. After a couple of discussions we accepted the reality that only Chinese students were valid for the discount.
The whole walk through the clay monuments was not what I expected. I honestly thought we where going to be walking next to them. But in order to preserve them we where actually walking far away. It was also extremely crowded, not by foreigners but by Chinese! You had to push in order to get close to the fence to see the Warriors.
In general I am glad I saw them since they are recognized across the world. But it defiently was far less impressive then what I originally had thought.
around lunch time and decided to keep on moving further north of Xi'an. Closer to the big mountains, deserts, plains and Tibet communities.
In order to skip a large section of industrial China we decided to take the bullet train from Xi'an all the way to Lanzhou. The train did not leave until 7:40pm, and it was still 5pm. We decided to leave the train station and find a spot to eat some noodles. After the noodles we each got a beer and sat outside enjoying the weather and the people going through their afternoon activities.
I noticed that a man who was seating next to us was carrying a bag filled with hair cutting equipment. Myself and Leo had been trying to trim our beards for the last couple of days. We had visited random barber shops asking if we could trim our beards, no one carried a trimer. Of course the moment we stopped looking it appeared, right before our eyes. I quickly told Leonardo about it and we went on asking the guy if we could use his trimer. Success! The guy defiently seemed confused about what we where doing. Facial hair is not a common thing
in China it seems jajaja. In the end we managed to trim our beards, looking more handsome 😉 and I took the opportunity of shaving my head again. All of that without spending a single yuan.
By the time we were done we headed back to the station and boarded the bullet train. After 4 hours we arrived at Lanzhou and decided to stay at another Hostel due to the time. It was 1am!
July 14 - Lanzhou and hitchhiking North - Dia 24
We were welcomed to blue skies and clean fresh air. Lanzhou city situated at 1400 above sea level was away from the coal industry. We had finally escaped the pollution, I was worried it was all across China 😅
We left the Hostal around midday. Feeling clean and excited to start hitchhiking and camping again. It's impressive how little we spend when we camp in comparison to staying in the cities. We can spend as little as 7 Canadian Dollars a day by camping. While in the cities we are spending as much as 40!! And I honestly enjoy and find more memorable experiences outside of the cities, camping and constantly moving. So I was really excited to leave the confines of the cities 😊
We used the public bus to get us out of the city. #1 rule for hitchhiking...never do it in the city, you won't get anywhere.
This time we were quite limited with the amount of highways we could take northwest of Lanzhou . Since we are hitchhiking we can't be taking the fastest highways, it's illegal and a bit too dangerous. Usually we take the 2 lane highways that cross the local villages.
We spend a while trying to catch a ride with no luck. Getting a bit desperate we tried to cross over to the high speed highway, which we could see had a lot of cars zooming by. There was a big ditch separating us and the highway and a green wired fence. A lot of obstacles...but worth the try. We gave up tying to cross the ditch (see picture). Leo got his shoes nice and wet hahaha.
After another try in the two lane highway we finally got a short 10km ride. A lot of rides later we finally where making some progress. We ate lunch/early dinner in a small district, next to the airport. A district with no apparent source of income. A district only used for living purposes and where people commuted to Lanzhou to work (the place we had just left..we had not made too much progress jajaja). Extremely interesting how Chinese people develop this sort of districts all over China. They contain only high-rise buildings to maximize the amount of people they can fit per area of land. There are absolutely no residencial houses or small multi-residencial building's. Just imagine a small city in the middle of nowhere with numerous identical high rise building's.
Leaving the district behind we kept not hitchhiking. We managed to hop on a small truck carrying local tree farmers. What an incredible experience. I was blissfully happy. I find it amazing how sometimes you can't speak to someone and still manage to find an intimate connection and know that the person you are watching has a warm heart with good intentions. That's exactly how I felt as this middle aged hard working Chinese woman kept on looking back at me in the car ride. Who knows what she was thinking but she made me smile every time. (See picture)
The last hitchhike of the day was in a nice Audi. We told the driver to drop us off when we saw some amazing deserted hills to camp on. We started to hike and soon enough found ourselves on top of one of the hills where we could see all our surroundings (see picture) To our sad surprise rain looked to be coming our way from every direction. We quickly setup the tent and went in just as the air started to pick up. Preparing for the worst.
Tot: 2.105s; Tpl: 0.042s; cc: 11; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0267s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 2;
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