A traveling day; bus from Xiahe (夏河) to Lanzhou (兰州), lunch, back in the bus for the trip to the airport then fly to Beijing (北京). Eight in the morning to ten at night.

Once again our bus driver proved his worth; there was another huge thunderstorm last night — a thunderstorm that I slept through — and the river was even more swollen and flooded and brown than the last two days, the roads were covered in rock-falls and the road-works detours turned into churned up bogs. A fairly routine six hour drive had a number of very boggy crossings and much slaloming around everything from handfuls of gravel to fallen boulders a metre in diameter.

Lunch at a café in Lanzhou, a beef noodle dish that is one of the three things this area is famous for — the other two being labour camps and the Chinese space industry. Good news was that Dan assured us that we’d only get to experience one of the three! Bad news was that Jo started feeling sick shortly after lunch, maybe the lunch, more likely last night’s Chicken Biryani in Xiahe (夏河).

Checking in at the airport it was interesting to see that although Beijing, like Ho Chi Minh City, has changed in spelling or name from its original westernised version, the airport code that is stuck on all the luggage is still the original, PEK for Beijing (北京) (Peking), SAI for Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)!