My world walk blog/ China Part 2/ blog #46
On Monday I walked 33 kilometres and much of it was in the rain as I crossed into Fujian province.
How does that song go? "Nothing lasts forever, Even cold November rain!"
A section of national route 234 was closed for roadworks. The resulting detour added several kilometres onto my day.
Sorry for any typos, it's two am and my eyes are closing
Wednesday, 28th November I walked a steady 45-kilometre day to a small residential area just west of Dananban Town on Chinas National Route G324.
I left Waishuangshan in the morning rush hour accompanied by drizzle. Correction's its always rush hour in China. Electric bicycles, motorcycles and scooters routinely cut inside me at short notice. This is a relatively new problem for the foot traveller as they approach without any engine sound warning, except for when they press their horns. This is something I can't seem to get used to, the horn is constantly pressed for almost no reason. Sometimes they do this for preventive reasons, just in case anyone dares venture out onto an empty road and God forbid disrupts that persons progress. Other times horn blaring is a kinda of friendly 'I'm behind ya buddy, just to let you know.' type of warning. The ones I don't have any time for are the aggressive get out of my way types. Often they are going down the wrong side of the road or on a footpath and believe the honk of a horn gives them preferential treatment, right of way. Sorry mate, that's when I put on my best Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry expression! Make my day punk! Just about every bike and car goes for the quickest and tightest gap and almost never pauses to go around the back of me at a junction. Some of these have gotten too close for comfort and I've had a couple of taps to Karmas front wheel after their dangerous maneuvers. There are at least twenty times a day that I'm sharply cut off. The inference is that I should stop even when I have the right of way.
I can't remember a single time in all of my China travels in which I have had an apology, it's pretty rude, to be honest. However, one nice man, bless him, came down the road after me and asked me to breakfast with him but alas I was already a couple of kilometres past his house.
I got lost in Yunaxio town for about two extra kilometre and didn't count that distance into my total. That happened because there was a massive bend (see map photo) and I just walked straight on. When I spotted a burger joint and I went in and accidently returned to the main route via a longer way.
A couple of weeks ago I misplaced my red flashing light and when I tried buying a new one here the bicycle shops didn't know what I was talking about, just proves that safety is a low priority. I won't let any Chinese person lecture me on health and safety either when they tell me I'm walking on the 'wrong side' of the road as I insist on walking toward traffic and not with the madness to my back as per law. Luckily I found my flashing light again which was stuck in a corner of one of my bags. I asked my sister to send me one out here as she just mailed me a box of goodies for Christmas. I'm sure this lamp was made in China. Imagine I have to import my own one into China lol!
I needed the red flasher urgently today as I had a problem when I came to a tunnel, about 600 metres long. It was two-lane and luckily one-way. This was scary as the narrow path was too narrow to accompany me and Karma, my cart. Which way to go.Towards the traffic or in front and brazenly hold them up? This decision always depends on circumstances. This time I ran towards traffic and of course there was overtaking inside the tunnel and all kinds of crazy stuff. There were times I was geniunly concerned as I waved traffic away with my precious red flashing light. A few times I had to jump up on the narrow path and hope Karma didn't get smashed but thankfully I was spotted by the drivers who steered away in time. I thought it prudent to move in front of her to avoid being hit by any resulting debris, just in case.
My research told me that Taiwan which is a mountainois island could be similar. Please see map. Thanks to Benjamin from Berlin for this and helping out with my research. Because of this I will more than likely walk Taiwan with a backpack and leave Karma with my kind contact there, an American English language teacher called Tony Durben. Another reason for backpacking it is that I may not be allowed to push her, especially if there are complaints from drivers. I had similar issues when I walked New Zealand. There it was because of narrow bridges and I also ended up backpacking it.
More on that soon as I still have to finalise my route which will be in the region of 1,000 kilometres.
Today, I also decided to honour a special friend called Jen who celebrated her 40th birthday today by walking 40 kms for her! When I got to km 40 there was nowhere to stay, so I walked on five more and I joked that I had aged her that amount! Hope you had a nice day Jen!
Upon arriving in this town I found a hotel but to be honest the guy was ripping me off and charging twice what his squallor dollar place normally rents for. Had it been lashing raining outside I would have stayed but I got irritated when first I was told to store Karma in an outside shed that didn't look secure. For some reason he didn't want her in the downstairs which was spacious. Instead as there was no elevator I was asked to carry her upstairs. In the end I just got my money back and walked on. Sometimes one has to make a stand.
It was almost 9.30pm and luckily I didn't have to go far as I stopped for a snack at a grocery store and the nice people suggested I could sleep in their car garage, see photo. So I did just that and rolled out my airmatress and sleeping bag. As you can see from another photo I made a cup of tea using my beverage heater. It's small, lightweight and handy for situations like this or in hotels where there is no kettle... And especially heating up water for a splash shower if it's a cold water shower!
Yawn, time for bed! A long and enjoyable day!
Please remember that life is precious and early cancer screening saves lives. www.myworldwalk.com