11th - 16th December 2003
From the Yellow River we climbed up through a dramatic winding valley.
That blue sky may make it look warm but every day was a "perfect winter day", clear sky but with the temperature around zero. Very little liquid water was to be seen.
Here as elsewhere in Shaanxi many people live in partially underground homes. We think they must be cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter. Near villages we usually saw large numbers of decaying caves on the hillside above the village. We think that until quite recently these were where the villagers lived.
When we reached the town of Yan'an we felt that we'd seen a lot of this landscape and that we were running a bit behind time. So we got the bus to Xi'an (bikes on the back seat) and paid the Terracotta Warriors a visit:
Then we left our bikes in the hotel in Xi'an and took the train to Guilin, land of pointy limestone pinnacles. From there we went to Hong Kong to visit a friend, collect a parcel of bike spares and get a new Chinese visa.
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