Day 9. Baoding to Dingzhou
We could only speculate what the second floor of our hotel had to deal with last night, and whether they were sorry not to have us as customers.
Refreshed and rested, we departed our blue paradise bound for
Dingzhou, although getting out of the city and onto the right road
proved to be more difficult than we anticipated; even the police
seemed to have conflicting views. Eventually we found our way
heading in the correct direction.
[Should we laugh or cry - which way is it?]
As with the previous day, the scenery was dreary and grey; lots
of dust, pollution, smog and traffic. We were all thinking
that a nice & quiet mountain pass would do wonders for our
morale. With lungs full of diesel fumes and dust all of us
were involuntarily coughing to clear the airways - sometimes
I wonder whether these trips do more harm to our health than
[On our way to Dingzhou]
From time to time we rolled through a time-forgotten village,
cut in half by the wide road; the residents of which must put up
with the masses of cars passing by. At some stage it must
have been quite a tranquil little town - but despite all the noise
people seem little fussed and get on with things.
Every 20 km or so we would have a short break, buy some fruit
from a street-side vendor, replenish fluids and discuss the pitiful
ecology and condition of land that surrounds us.
[Buying fruit and having a rest]
Eventually we arrived at Dingzhou, and of course, seeing a KFC
we just had to get our fill of a Chocolate Sundae.
[Finger Lickin Good]
Afterwards, we found a massive 5 star hotel stuck precariously
at the edge of town and surrounded by farm land and small buildings
- a bargain for only EUR 15 each.
This place was colossal, a massive entrance and reception area,
the rooms fitted with a modern computer - complimentary of course;
and the rooms decked out in tasteful furniture. It would be
really hard to leave this type of lifestyle behind - especially
since we don't yet know what we'll call home tomorrow night.
[5 Star Entertainment]
One thing about the Chinese, they eat a lot - the portions are
huge and most of my vegetarian dishes went around the table twice
before I made a dent in them; although the boys give me crap for
being a vegetarian, they admitted that my food has always tasted
better than theirs.
[Eating like a pig]