At last, we are out of the mud after five hours here. It took 20 villagers to tug us out.
There was a huge cloudburst, which brought
down torrents; there were masses of hailstones; the biggest I have ever seen,
some almost as big as marbles. It is
becoming increasingly more difficult to write my notes.
Two hours later.
We are in the most outlying Chinese village bordering on the
Mongol lands - in the most miserable mud hut I have ever seen – the only
furniture is a mat. People are very poor
here. The cloudburst, which has caused
so much trouble, has wrecked their few crops. We have travelled 110 miles from Kalgan, but in the last eight hours, we
have travelled four miles!! Just think
of that speed when you speed on perfect roads in your Lanchester car. This village is quite different from the
Mongol places. There are masses of
children to be seen here compared with the Mongol places where we have been where
there are almost none.
We are now 50 miles from Dolonor.
We may have to wait until there is sun to
dry the roads. When I get back to
Peking I’m going to the Grand Hotel de Peking to have really good dinner -
although we’ve had good tinned stuff. We have little food left, because we expected to get to Dolonor in about
six or seven hours, but we’ve already been two days. So, we’ll be hungry by the time we get to Dolonor.
The people here have not much to eat.
Yesterday we passed some mounds just near the place
where Kublai Khan had his summerhouse. Dr Müller believes that the mounds are Zanadu.
Thursday, July 25th.
I have left home exactly nine months today and shall be home in
something over three months. Then it
will be fine to have the usual dinner cooked by Auntie Winnie and invite our
great friend, Mr Davies.
Last night we slept four in a row (Dr M., self,
Liang and a Mongol guide) on the floor in a very poor Chinese mud hovel - on a
mat. During the first part of the
night, the dogs howled everywhere and mad donkeys brayed. Dr Müller thinks there were bandits in the vicinity
disturbing them, but I am told that the bandits here are just horse and cattle thieves and do not