What a week. Not only was I able to see a part of China I never expected to visit, I also got my outdoors on and spent good times with fine Chr1stian friends. 15 to be exact! The train trip totaled 63 hours roundtrip, but I didn’t hate it. Please enjoy my photos peppered with a few brief excerpts from the captain’s log I kept:
Day 1. Train, 11:35 – There are 60 beds on this single train car. The bunks are stacked triply. I have the top.
Day 2. (Still on train), 19:05 – Expressed a craving for Culver’s which lowered the team morale reeeeal quick
Day 4. Desert, 11:05 – Spent 30 minutes discussing roasted lamb options. Democracy prevailed.
12:20 – Stopped at a giant, rather empty restaurant for lunch. Highlight of the day thus far – hearing High School Musical playing softly in this cavernous dining room.
15:10 – Arrived at desert play land (Texas Saloon and Inn & Beer); singer at gate serenaded arrival with Mongolian pop or something
16:12 – Team played ultimate frisbee around some dinosaurs; small group hiked the dunes and danced to a piece of the Lion King score
20:51 – Post dinner show was a perfect example of being hilariously and pleasantly lost in this foreign (to me) culture.
00:10 – Stars were incredible. In dunes. Incredible.
Day 5. Desert, 13:12 – Camels. Four hours of riding camels makes one very camel satisfied and full of sore muscles in a not bad way. I named mine Damien (said with an Aussie accent). My group was slow, but the conversation was enjoyable. Neil played some soft songs.
18:22 – Post lunch activities included a beautiful mountain/river vista and other fun. Several members of the group went zip lining across the river and back. Some also jumped off a tall structure w/ bungees. Beautiful views and good company again.
10:44 – Bai jou doesn’t taste any better with pepsi, but good company can make tires around a small lamp feel like a successful campfire. Snacks don’t hurt.
Day 7. Dawukou, untimed -Not a captain’s log entry, but I just have to say that seeing the people and friends in Dawukou was so so good for many reasons. Meeting brothers and sisters in Chr1st in a (relatively) unknown but beautiful town was a unique and wonderful experience.
Day 9. Train, 18:00 – Departing Shanghai (after 28 hours of slow training from Yinchuan) on a G train that’s 10 levels of luxury higher than any other mode of transportation I’ve used this week. This doesn’t feel quite right.
18:23 – The *western* WC on this train has SOAP.