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This morning we boarded our bus for an all-day drive to Wuwei. Our Chinese bus driver honked his horn constantly to warn pedestrians, donkey-carts, camels, and other vehicles of our presence (the other vehicles did the same). The road alternated between smooth tarmac and bumpy dirt detours. It was so hot and dry we thought our spit evaporated before hitting the ground. We drove over an asphalt road section that had melted, leaving a rough gravel track. We drove through blinding sand storms - thick as any English fog. When it cleared we passed forts, towers, and long sections of the Great Wall that are 2,000 years old. Most interesting is the fact that no one seems to bother with these old relics. They sit mutely in the sun, unlabeled, no fanfare, almost anonymous. We guess China has too many old structures to take care of each one. The Great Wall itself runs through fields, villages, and is cut by roads. It's not a continguous wall all the way to Beijing (at times it is a dirt mound or nothing at all). When the Wall appeared and ran along the road we were thrilled to drive by history.
The horse herders prefer to use the highway instead of the fields! A major tollway in China and everyone had to come to a screeching halt to drive by these horses which were penned in by guardrails on each side. Since this road is a tollway, we wondered how the horses passed through the tollbooth? Do the herders pay a toll for each horse?
(Below) On the way to Wuwei, we visited the legendary birthplace of Kublai Khan (pronounced: "Hubeli Han") near the site of this giant reclining Buddha. The Buddhists know how to take it easy...