2009/ / 5: Great Wall Beacon Camp km
We left Zhangye pedalling at a fierce pace to try to ease our anger and sadness. We had received an email just before leaving our hotel, informing us of the murder of someone we knew in Vancouver. She was running in the forest a few blocks from our house, on a trail where every member of our household regularly runs alone. Anyone in Vancouver will know how this death has rocked our home community. We called both our children. It was difficult to be aware of our surroundings for some time.
We ate noodle lunch after km. A little later, we met a lone Chinese man pulling a small hand cart on some sort of mission of world peace and brotherhood. He had been travelling for several years, had criss-crossed China several times, and I had read on the Web of other cyclists meeting him. We exchanged information and gifts of food. Chris was still struggling to come to terms with the yuan the Mongolian had given us, so he gave yuan to Mr. One World, who accepted after brief polite protest. We knew it would make more difference to him than it would to us. China has been remarkably generous to us, and this was a small chance to return some of that generosity.
As afternoon wore on, we were moving across flat stony desert which soon became a moonscape of dry ridges topped by weathered Great Wall beacon towers. We camped below a ridge out of sight of the road, and cooked an instant dinner followed by a compote of apples and dates (gifts from Mr. One World) sweetened with raw sugar that we’d bought in Laos. We hiked to the ridge crest for sunset photos.
/ / 6: Jiayuguan km
We rose to a cold morning and a long day to Jiayuguan. Second breakfast was Muslim noodles and lunch was Han mi fan. We were motivated to push on by the prospect of a few days rest and of not packing. We had pedalled km in seven days from Lanzhou.