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Published: November 4th 2016
The weather has warmed up, and we are heading south from Chengdu towards Dali. The scenery has changed again and we are driving through gorges lined with tea plantations. Yesterday we went to a tea tasting house which was really interesting, and you understood how the flavours develop with each brewing. On cook group for the last time, this time with Roberto. Lots of fresh vegetables and nice lean pork with egg fried rice - yummy.
And now the landscape has changed again with much agriculture. It is a bit of an anomaly with power stations surrounded by local people cultivating the land using ox drawn ploughs, and hand tools. Everywhere you go there are corn cobs drying for pig food (although apart from some pigs in a trailer we haven't actually seen any). They are hung on walls, in trees, stacked, laid out in courtyards, and on rooftops.
One morning we passed a school to see all of the children in the playground doing the morning exercises. As you can imagine they were all in immaculately straight lines. We have also seen this outside factories as we have driven past.
Another interesting place we passed was Xichang,
the site of China's Space Programme, and I spotted a sign to the Satellite Lauch Centre although not sure how far away it was from our route.
Our bush camp was off an unmade road, although it was being used as a regular route, but what we didn't realise was that there was a railway line close by and the trains ran every 45 minutes all through the night. In fact laying in bed they sounded like they were coming right through the tent.
So we are now in Dali Old Town. This was destroyed by an earthquake in 1925 but has been rebuilt in the same style and is now a big tourist attraction.
Only one more bush camp to go!!!! And who would believe I am half way through the trip.
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