After a long days ride from Urumqi with lots of coal trucks and of course dusty dirt roads through gorges we finally found a place to camp for the night that was close enough to the Urumqi river for water.
As we sat down for our evening feed of veges and potatoes taking in the glorious, but cold, views of the surrounding mountains a man on horseback appeared.
We of course greeted him with a smile and “Ni How.” He smiled back said a few things in Chinese to us and then like most people that stumble across us camping proceeded to watch what we are doing.
I always try to imagine what it would be like to come across two foreigners that have set up camp and have all these different “things” which they cook with and how they do it. I try to explain this to myself and others like so.
Imagine you are walking down your city street and a Mongolian on a horse rides by. Wouldn’t you stop and stare?
I offered him some tea “cha” to which he politely shrugged no, so I went with a well tested theory of mine here in China. Peanuts!
He glady took a big handful, watched for a while longer and then went on his way. These encounters while brief and sometimes confusing here in China are why we are doing what we are doing.