Monday, 19 October 2009

Trailer trouble and other Topics

Our trailer has been a great asset, in particular for carrying vital horse feed, but the weight of the water tank at the front bent the tow bar on the jeep. Although it has been fixed, it is still a source of concern, and Peng is thus sensibly unwilling to go too far off the beaten track in case the road conditions are unfavourable. I had hoped to follow a small road curving north near a few remnants of the Great Wall, but in view of these concerns we have decided to stay on the old Silk road. This is slightly disappointing, but the countryside is still very picturesque with maize fields or desert scrub backed by mountains, and due to the expressway the traffic is fairly light.Below are Hua and Zorbee posing by a pavilion with the Qilian mountains in the background.The weather has been ideal, brisk and sunny, although yesterday we just arrived at our destination in time to miss a small dust storm at dusk

We have run out of the excellent hay we bought in Yinchuan. The Shandan stud gave us some straw and Peng managed to find a couple of bales of hay en route, but otherwise we have been eking out roughage with maize stalks. Hard feed is however less of a problem as everyone is harvesting, corn cobs are out to dry in front of nearly all the houses, and it is not too difficult to pick up the odd bag of ground maize. And yesterday SuperPeng bought some carrots from our hosts which he can be seen washing in freezing water below
We often stop to graze the horses whenever we find a good patch of grass or little clumps of alfalfa alongside the road. Here is Hua being checked out by the Mandarin orange brigade aka Gansu road maintenance.
Below are three cheerful schoolboys who bicycled alongside us into Xinhua, but were too shy to try out their English.
It was not long before there was a flotilla of schoolboys bantering with Hua.

And even a couple of schoolgirls.

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