Across China on Foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 330 pages of information about Across China on Foot.

SECOND JOURNEY

YUeN-NAN-FU TO TALI-FU (VIA CH’U-HSIONG-FU)

CHAPTER XV.

Stages to Tali-fu. Worst roads yet experienced. Stampede among ponies. Hybrid crowd at Anning-cheo. Simplicity of life of common people. Does China want the foreigner?  Straits Settlements and China Proper compared. China’s aspect of her own position. Renaissance of Chinese military power. Europeans NOT wanted in the Empire. Emptiness of the lives of the common people. Author erects a printing machine in Inland China. National conceit. Differences in make-up of the Hua Miao and the Han Ren. The Hua Miao and what they are doing. Emancipation of their women. Tribute to Protestant missionaries. Betrothal and marriage in China. Miao women lead a life of shame and misery. Crude ideas among Chinese regarding age of foreigners. Musty man and dusty traveller at Lao-ya-kwan. Intense cold. Salt trade. Parklike scenery, pleasant travel, solitude.

From the figures of heights appearing below, one would imagine that between the capital and Tali-fu hard climbing is absent.  But during each stage, with the exception of the journey from Sei-tze to Sha-chiao-kai, there is considerable fatiguing uphill and downhill work, each evening bringing one to approximately the same level as that from which he started his morning tramp.  I went by the following route:—­

Length of Height
stage above sea
1st day—­Anning-cheo 70 li 6,300 ft.
2nd day—­Lao-ya-kwan 70 li 6,800 ft.
3rd day—­Lu-feng-hsien 75 li 5,500 ft.
4th day—­Sei-tze 80 li 6,100 ft.
5th day—­Kwang-tung-hsien 60 li 6,300 ft.
6th day—­Rest day.
7th day—­Ch’u-hsiong-fu 70 li 6,150 ft.
8th day—­Luho-kai 60 li 6,000 ft.
9th day—­Sha-chiao-kai 65 li 6,400 ft.
10th day—­Pu-peng 90 li 7,200 ft.
11th day—­Yuen-nan-i 65 li 6,800 ft.
12th day—­Hungay 80 li 6,000 ft.
14th day—­Chao-chow 60 li 6,750 ft.
15th day—­Tali-fu 60 li 6,700 ft.

A long, winding and physically-exhausting road took me from Sha-chiao-kai to Yin-wa-kwan, the most elevated pass between Yuen-nan-fu and Tali-fu, and continued over barren mountains, bereft of shelter, and void of vegetation and people, to Pupeng.  A rough climb of an hour and a half then took me to the top of the next mountain, where roads and ruts followed a high plateau for about thirty li, and with a precipitous descent I entered the plain of Yuen-nan-i.  Then

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Across China on Foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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