Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Arrival in Muli - my first real meal for two days.

Muli arrival, originally uploaded by jiulong.

In 1994, after hiking over the Gibboh pass from Yongning I arrived in Wachang late on the third day, and struggled up the hill to reach this town on a high ridge. I was starving, exhuasted and my mouth was parched. There had been no water to drink after my bottle ran out up near the pass, and it had been a long hot and dry descent. The only liquid to be had was some sickly barley wine that left me more thirsty than ever.

When I pulled myself up into Wachang (via the rubbish dump I subsequently discovered) I climbed through a wall into the town school playground and was met by amazed stares and questions about where I had come from.

After being mobbed by a crowd, I was taken by the school English teacher to a shack where was served up the best meal of my life - with bottle after bottle of real beer. I ate ham, peas and potatoes: all reassuringly normal foods and quite untypical of lowland China.

I couldn't believe it - I had made it to Muli.

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