During my travels on Tea Horse Road, I arrived at the side of a large mountain. It was naked of trees and plastered with grass. There was a small, constricted path made of dirt. I followed along the sandy path in the perfect, warm weather. If I looked up I would see a blue sky full of plump white clouds. When I looked to my side I would see the spectacular view. A beautiful sky as far as the eye can see, that faded into mountains full of green and drooping dirt that looked like brown water falling from a green island. The land next to the sandy road has a look that is like eight-bit pixels. Once I reached the top I could feel the breeze like a flag in the wind. When I looked down to the road I conquered I can see that it’s a path of life. There were cars and horses going up and down on it like pebbles in a stream. It had the personality of a square. It is made up of wide letter zs connecting to make a zig-zag. I was eye level with the sun as if it was meant to look back at me. I felt as if I was a Greek God upon his throne high in Olympus.The islands of green only complemented the godly mood I was feeling. I could see men that would have towered over me, but as ants moving leaves. When I looked to another mountain I knew that there were not only islands of grass there were great rock islands as well. The rocks looked like they were placed there for me to discover. The curve of the sky was proving that the planet was round. It was a moment of beauty you could only see to believe.
Travel day 35:
This morning woke up with a terrible pain in my back, it seams each day becomes more of a task for my body. I fear I will not make it to The Emperor’s Palace to sell my tea bricks. For I know nun who have, I have only heard stories of the great men who have made it through the most dangerous road in the world. It is so strenuous to walk along the rugged terrain with such a heavy pack. I cannot even fathom how rough it this must be for the horses to carry even more than what I carry.
After a long hard morning of packing up my gear in the cold mist, I set off to climb the mountains. As I journeyed I would count the towering mountain peaks as far as I could see this is my way of passing time on my long travel. The tall treeless mountains that remind me of my old grandfather’s bald head have now become my only companion for I travel alone. The aching in my feet is a pain beyond comprehension just almost as if my feet are being sanded away by the rough rocks and stones below them.
As I walked along what are the long steep switchbacks, I lost my footing on a large rock that I thought would be securely fastened to the earth but was not. As I tumbled down the mountain I could feel the rocks bruising and batterning my arms and legs. I came to a stop at the end of the switchback, I was very lucky that I didn’t fall off the cliff that was 4 feet ahead of me if this had happened it would be the end of my journey and I would not be able to take the tea bricks that I had spent so long to create to sell at the chinese market . That fall was the end of my traves for the day I was able to create a small fire and build my yurt to settle down for the night. that morning though my body was battered I felt refreshed and ready for a new day’s journey.
The hengduan mountain range is one of the most unfamiliar and daunting places because it has it vast, uninhabited mountains with crevasses that could consume you without a trace. The path we were about to travel upon was full of switchbacks and steep mountainous trails the stretch as far as 2,250 kilometers making it one of the most difficult places to travel.
There was about 500 travelers who are walking with me, Every traveler wore a pack that carried almost twice their body weight in tea bricks on their back. There we were , hundreds of us, walking on a path about three feet wide One head behind another lined up single file we walked, treading carefully struggling under the weight of the packs.
To our right stood a towering wall of stone and to our left there was steep drop off into a deep crevasse in between the two mountains. Each traveler laid a guiding hand on the wall in fear of falling. Every once and awhile we would find a dip in the path that brought us down toward pools of brown water where we would rest and let the horses drink.