Day 123 &124: Champing To Jining- Wed 26 & Thur 27 Jun, 2013
Wed: Shopping in Walmart, last western style supermarket we might expect to see in a while. Stopped at popular rest area for lunch, good veggie choice in buffet.
|Too late to use in all smoggy cities to date!!|
|Go the Maroons!!|
Dinner at Pizza Hut, sharing bottle of wine whilst receiving text updates on 2nd State of Origin (good choice to wear maroon T shirt today!) Shame Labour Party chose same evening to kick out Gillard and reinstall Rudd. On a global stage Labour plays embarrassing politics for a supposedly stable democratic country...
Thurs: Made cuppa in carpark just to test stove working - all good! Muesli and peaches in the camper far better choice than slop in hotel. Departed Beijing, Garmin set for Erenhot. Onto G6, past Baderling Great Wall site.
Made our way through interminable slow lanes filled with overloaded trucks, breakdowns and car accidents. Overtaking turned into series of David vs Goliath spectacles.
Brief respite from smog, a taste of blue sky and cumulus, then into pollution haze again, green valleys spoiled by power stations and enormous electricity towers.
Turned to northeast, blue sky and sunshine arrived together. Lunch at self appointed 4-star rest area, not much meat in buffet, but plenty of veggies to go with rice and rolls – filled up bellies (back to toasted sandwiches for dinner then!)
Reached Inner Mongolia – yay, another milestone! Yellow flowers, mountain range off to east, intensive dairying. Hmm, what's the new language on the signs with the Chinese? Mongolian, or a dialect? Ran into huge snaky line of trucks in right lane, inching forward only rarely. Surely it can't be the border line already?? Jon says he saw a documentary of old cars in a global rally caught in line of trucks crossing Erenhot border, all started overheating, had to have police escort to get through and proceed with rally. But no, turns out to be very nasty car accident, minivan sandwiched sideways between two trucks. Forward once more, then ran into police block being set up, probably for accident. Finally, free road again.
|Deadly sandwich accident|
Turned off to G55 looking for camp - found a patch of wasteland on outskirts of Jining city and pulled over. Occasional lightning and thunder, rain falling on the near horizon rather than us. Everyone swapping final photos. Jon and Jude invited all for drinks, strung new lights along annex, pleasant, watched sun go down, told stories. Probably going to cross border one day early on Saturday now, so this is our last-but-one night.