earthworm and anaconda

day 353: 乌鲁木齐 (Ürümqi) – 昌吉 (Changji) = 34,3km


2010-08-30.kmz on larger map

So…

I guess some of you already knew what was going to happen, with the Caboose and all…

I was going to take a few days off this summer to pick up where I left off and add a tiny bit of length to the long red line. ;)

Well, this morning my 申叔叔 (Uncle Shen) picked me up at the hotel, we loaded everything on the caboose, he got on his bike and I got on my feet – and off we were, into the unknown!

WALKING

It felt weird and nice and exciting to be back on the road, and this time I was even able to decipher some of the many Russian signs that cover this city:

We steered through some pretty bad traffic, then we got on the road leading West, in my original direction:

Airplanes were thundering across our way as we made it past the airport, and I pondered once more about the difference in traveling speed that humans meet today:

…well, to be honest I pondered for like five minutes, then I thought, fuck it.

We had lunch in a small place on the roadside. I ordered a plate of noodles that were so spicy I could barely look at them, let alone eat them.

“What’s this foreigner doing?” 申叔叔 got asked by the locals.
“He is walking to Germany!” he said and smiled, and I wondered if this was the right answer.

Was there even a right answer at all?

I was surprised by two things today, the first of which was the heat:

Now you can say something along the lines of: “Chris you old fool, you went to the Gobi desert in late August – just what did you expect??”

And of course you are right. But actually, it had been fairly cool during the past few days in the city. Like, sweater-type cool. Maybe even put-on-a-jacket-type cool.

Anyways, 申叔叔 and me eventually found a nice spot for a cool rest under the highway:

Then we went back out into the afternoon heat:

It was merciless.

…and the second thing that surprised me? Well, I had gotten this presumably superb idea to be wearing sandals on this year’s summer walking trip. They are more comfortable and a lot cooler than my heavy hiking boots, so why the hell not wear them?

Well, let me tell you why not: first of all, your feet slide around in them, at least mine did. And second, you always get little rocks and pebbles in them, which is even more annoying.

Now you can say something like: “But Chris, what kind of idiot would try to walk around in the Gobi desert wearing sandals? Didn’t you know better??”

Well, you’re obviously right again. I know now. ;)

We finally made it to 昌吉 (Changji) in the early evening, by the time of which I was seriously suffering.

I was happy to see this miserable river bed announcing the proximity of the city:

…and when we made the last turn onto a street that was lined with cooling trees, I almost forgot how much my feet hurt:

Almost.

申叔叔 dropped me off at the central square, where I was going to find a hotel to cure my footpains:

Then we said good-bye, because he had to go home. This came as a sad surprise, because I thought he was going to accompany me for a few more days. But he said he had to take his dog to the doctor. (Apparently a few kids from the neighborhood had tried to milk the poor thing, causing an infection on the teats. WTF??)

Good-bye my dear 申叔叔, and thank you for everything!

Here’s a short video of some of the mighty walking we did today:

Never mind my big fat ass! ;)

Now I am in my room, and my feet hurt. They really hurt like hell.

Was it this that I had come out here for?

There’s a simple answer to this question:

YES.

Soundtrack: Britney Spears – “Oops… I did It Again”

—total: 4680,4km

Print This Post

16 Responses to “earthworm and anaconda”

  1. 1
    Walter Says:

    Good to see you back on track. Happy walking, mate! :-)

  2. 2
    Frank Says:

    lol … was für ein passender Soundtrack…

    Ich wünsch dir was…

  3. 3
    Magda Says:

    Couple months ago I found your video from the last trip and I really enjoyed it:) Now I’ll have the opportunity to follow your adventure step by step. cool;) Good luck or should I say Powodzenia!

  4. 4
    Shoul Says:

    Go Chris go!

  5. 5
    Anto-San Says:

    I’m gettin’ travellers envy Christoph!

    Soundtrack: Curtis Mayfield – “Keep On Keeping On”

  6. 6
    Steven Says:

    :)…..

  7. 7
    Andreas Says:

    hey thats so fucking amazing, you are back on the road, no longer to be poisoned by civilization!. haha. I hope you will finish the big long red line, someday and I hope I can be there to walk with you!

  8. 8
    Dmitry Zubkov Says:

    Ни шагу назад! Только вперёд! =)

  9. 9
    rutielein Says:

    Ahhhh, back on the road!!

  10. 10
    NONO Says:

    老雷
    看到你又开始走
    我真高兴
    都有想再和你走一天的冲动啦
    哈哈

  11. 11
    NONO Says:

    But why the “stopped” sign still there?

  12. 12
    Ingo Says:

    I cannot express how happy I am to see you back walking again. You where the one who made me an addict to walking. Ive gained to much weight (Stoopid work – sitting all day – monkey see – monkey do) and when I read about insolves – Well I got them right away from the doctor and now I can walk painless 20 km. You made my life ;)

    PS: Beware of sunburn in your sandals!!!

    Ingo

  13. 13
    Barb Says:

    On the road again! Outstanding!

  14. 14
    Christoph Says:

    Walter: Thanks dude!
    Frank: Gutes Lied oder?
    Magda: Glad you enjoyed the video. Welcome to The Longest Way!
    Shoul: Only a little, haha…
    Anto-San: No need for envy, this is much more painful than it looks! ;)
    Steven: Ever been to Xinjiang?
    Andreas: Haha, we will never know what the future might bring!
    Dmitry Zubkov: Только вперёд!
    NONO: Haha, because I am only here on vacation! :)
    Ingo: This is excellent news! I am happy my site had such a positive effect!
    Barb: Hehe, only for a little while though!

  15. 15
    Austin Kramer Says:

    Just noticed you’re walking some again!

    The Sandals idea was a good one for the desert, but the trick is don’t use those sport type sandals. The Indian / Pakistani style flip-flop sandals actually work better, because your toes hold them in place, they clear the rocks when they “flop” and they are super nice and cool. A friend who knows more about this stuff than I also said they encourage your body to transition more weight onto the front of your foot, making your walking more natural (like barefoot) and efficient.

  16. 16
    Christoph Says:

    Austin Kramer: Thanks for the advice man! Don’t know when I’ll be able to use it, but I’ll think about it next time! :)

Leave a Reply

 




all content ©2011 Christoph Rehage