Well since the last update I've been climbing thru the mountains and hills of central China. It's rural but at the same time there are people everywhere. Not a plot of land or hillside that isn't covered in corn crops, vegetable or fruit farms. People have been farming here for a LONG time so they're kind of dug in. Beside the 5000 yr old dynastys that have written history, I passed thru one place just south of Xi'an where back in the 60's they found an old boy dating back 500,000 yrs. So I may not be the first one here, but I swear I'm one of the first westerners in many places I go. People stop and stare at me wide mouthed and even after I say hello (neeha) still they just look dumbfounded at me.
Got off the beaten path taking a direct route down to visit the 3 gorges dam and after a day and a half of climbing and rolling over a big mountain got to a point where the people were indicating to me I was approaching a militarized zone. There was only one road beside backtracking but they assured me I would be cuffed and fined by the friendly Chinese army. Tried to get them to pinpoint the exact area of the zone but couldn't get a good answer, just the general area I was approaching. Not wanting to repeat the Russian incident, I had to turn back.
Flagged down a truck to take me back over the mountain and back here to Shiyan. It may screw up my plans for the 3 gorges since this new route takes me further east. I'll see in a few days. At least I'm out of the hills for awhile. Been very lucky with the weather. Nice days and uncomparable scenery. High mountains, streams and quiet villages. Rapidly approaching Hong Kong, but not rapidly enough. Will have to renew my visa in a few days to give me enough time to make it. I'm hanging in there and I'll talk to again soon. Brian