Exhausted in Ningxia

Has it really only been 16 days since this holiday started? I feel like I stepped into a twister and, like Dorothy and her dog, got spat out in a completely different place! Although if we’re still on a Wizard of Oz theme, I’m guessing I look more like the scarecrow at the moment, than with Judy Garland or her cute little pooch.
Since I last wrote, I have been racing about Inner Mongolia, up the Russian border, across to Moerdaoga, down to Hailaer, then Aershan, Ulanhot and Hohhot before finally catching a bus to Yinchuan. I have no idea what distance I’ve clocked up so far, but I’m guessing it is over 2000km. The bus from Ulanhot to Hohhot alone took 15 hours!!! I have seen grasslands, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, plains, desert, yurts and a lot of animals. I’ve been harrassed by drunks, stood on a crumbling piece of the Great Wall, almost fallen to my death in a pitch black really disgusting communal country dunny and skipped about like an idiot in a field of flowers (more than once). Now I am pooped and thinking that it is time to spend a day in bed reading a book or watching movies.
The plan for the next couple of weeks is to head to Gansu and go to Xiahe and Langmusi before heading back to Songpan (in Sichuan) which I love and where I know a couple of people. Hopefully going for a horse trek or two along the way. So far (despite Mongolians being famous for their horses) I haven’t been riding yet. Oops, that’s not entirely true. I rode a camel this afternoon, but it is not quite the same thing.
I’ve already caught up with my travelpod entries and photos because my room in Yinchuan has Internet. They start here. The most bizarre is definitely Oh what a day! Oh what a night! Here are a few more photos…
These are flowers between Moerdaoga and Hailaer.
This is Erguna River (or at least the part between Shiwei and Lingjiang) which is the border between this part of China and Russia.
This is the ‘backyard’ of a Mongolian family we had dinner with one evening.
This is a sunset on the way from Aershan to Ulanhot.
This was taken in Aershan National Park.

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