After a bit of a lack of organisation, we have found ourselves forbidden from staying in the northern parts of the Badain Jaran desert in Inner Mongolia, as we’re foreigners. We then decided that the best and perhaps only option would be for both cars and most of the students to continue on further North, while Anna and I get the train back to Lanzhou to wait for them to come back and for Tom to arrive later in the week.
The others will hopefully get the samples we needed from the north and the trip will not be compromised.
Having an extra day to wait before our train journey, we visited Jiuquan Park, which is where a general once poured precious wine into a spring to share the taste with his troops after victory in war. Jiuquan is named after this meaning ‘wine-spring’.
The natural spring is now gone, but there is a lake, gardens, a ‘zoo’ and an ‘amusement park’.
We went to the ‘zoo’ in the park, which had crocodiles, turtles, snakes, including an enormous python, and an animal which could only be described as an enormous rat- possibly a bamboo rat?
Posing with soldiers from a monument at the park.
Our hotel was particularly nice and we were more than happy to stay an extra night.
The train journey from JiuQuan to LanZhou eventually took ten hours, after continuous delays- three hours longer than it was meant to.
We opted for the ‘soft’ seats, which was all very civilised.
My view for most of the journey.
The train turned out to be a very sociable occasion, with men playing cards, and often being joined by passers-by, or a policeman in this case.