Home Stretch!

We are officially in what I call the home stretch. Our GPS, which isn’t completely reliable, tells us that we have 86 miles left to walk. Doug’s achilles tendon is bothering him and at the end of each day, I somehow have at least one new blister.
We have been walking through cities for the last two days and I don’t think we will see any more countryside between here and Shenzhen which makes me a little sad.
All of our expectations regarding what we thought this last bit of the walk would be like we’re wrong. Internet access is even more sketchy here than it was in the most rural parts of our walk last year. (hence the irregular updates to growingsoles). And, contrary to our hopes, we aren’t encountering more English speakers. We also expected that hotels would be more plentiful and easier to find. However, today,after putting in our fifteen miles, we stood dripping with sweat on a corner asking a group of shop owners where the nearest hotel was. “A kilometer back that way” one man indicated to us while his friend pointed in the opposite direction indicating that the nearest hotel was further up the road. While the two guys debated, a woman who had pulled up on a motor scooter began yelling at them and then pointed directly across the street where not 50 feet from where we stood was a hotel. I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to us. We ask where the nearest hotel is and we are told it’s 8 kilometers up the road when in fact, the nearest hotel is literally RIGHT NEXT DOOR! Ten minutes later we were in a room with the AC cranked up. Life is good. I can’t help but think of Hippolyte whose only respite from the heat would have been a spot of shade and never a cool drink passed his lips. They seem like small things but make his journey all the more remarkable to me. He was a trooper.

About Micae Martinet

3 Responses to “Home Stretch!”

  1. Dan Parker

    I assume you are aware, but since you have not mentioned it and have stated that internet is sketchy. There is a typhoon landing in southeast China with estimates of 12-18 inches of rain. Flooding has already been massive in the Filippines due to the storm – so take care!

  2. Thomas A. Martinet

    Obviously, China was, I believe, the most difficult part of the trip for Hippolyte. In the few details we have, not only was the language part difficult for him, but the perception on the part of the people that he was an American beggar (which he was in a sense) in a Country of impoverished people. The World was considerably different in the 1920’s and China, I believe, was really quite different. Regardless of politics, in one century, China has changed considerably. The entire world has changed immensely in the last one hundred years, but China’s change is on steroids.


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