18-Feb-2007 -- On the first day of the Chinese “Year of the [Fire] pig” I took Marion’s Chinese standard bicycle [single speed] and started the 80 km tour from Qian’an. The first attempt I made together with Klaus & Jürgen on November 26th, but we had turn back due to the short daylight period.
These days even the remote villages are crowded because families are gathering and celebrate the New Year. Frequently people watched me with open mouth like an alien and mumbled something like “Lau Wei”. Some of the village look extremely poor and the contrast to the nearby cities is tremendous.
As I approached the village He-Guan-Tun I was able to watch some kind of new years dance. Just about 150 m away from the CP. As mentioned by the predecessors the exact crossing shall inside the house. I found the door open but watched by a barking dog and nobody showed up so far. Probably they attended the dancing performance as well. So I decided to stay outside and take some photos from the neighbourhood.
All the typical things for this area and season could be found, like: a donkey in front of the house, bunches of maize straw as heating material, piles of bricks, a lot of litter, etc. Since the last visit the road in front of the house was improved by a concrete surface. Across the ditch I noticed a mini saw mill combined with a carpenter's workshop.
On the way back to Qian’an I passed a village which we have visited in November. Remarkably they cried immediately “audili” [Austrian] and ask me about the whereabouts of my friends. I had to cross a heavily polluted industrial area with hundreds of miniature plants for iron ore processing.