Across China on Foot - One Man's Incredible Quest by Edwin John Dingle;Ding Le Mei

By Edwin John Dingle;Ding Le Mei

Within the early 1900s a guy named Edwin John Dingle launched into a amazing mapping excursion of China. Overcoming fabulous odds and plenty of risky occasions that threatened his lifestyles, he succeeded in his challenge, crossing components of China the place no Westerner had ever been sooner than, and finally reached Tibet. There, he grew to become one of many first Westerners (if no longer the 1st) to check in a Tibetan monastery. Upon his eventual go back to the West, he shared what he had discovered in China and Tibet with others and got here to be identified to millions as Ding Le Mei. right here, in his personal phrases, is Edwin Dingle's account of that incredible trip.

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The nature of the country as far as T'an-t'eo, ten li this side of which the Szech'wan border is reached, is not exhausting, although the traveler is offered some rough and wild climbing. The next day's stage, to Lao-wa-t'an, is miserably bad. At certain places it is cut out of the rock, at others it runs in the bed of the river, which is dotted everywhere with roaring rapids (as we are ascending very quickly), and when the water is high these roads are submerged and often impassable. In some places it was a six-inch path along the mountain slope, with a gradient of from sixty to seventy degrees, and landslips and rains are ever changing the path.

Lao-wa-t'an is the most important point on the route. One of the largest Customs stations in the province of Yün-nan is here situated at the east end of a one-span suspension bridge, about one hundred and fifty feet in length. No ponies carrying loads are allowed to cross the bridge, the roads east of this being unfit for beasts of burden. There is then a fearful climb to a place called Teo-sha-kwan, a stage of only sixty li. The reader should not mentally reduce this to English miles, for the march was more like fifty miles than thirty, if we consider the physical exertion required to scale the treacherous roads.

Eggs there were in abundance, pork also; but it was not to be wondered at that the traveler, having seen the conditions under which the pigs are reared, refrained from the luxury of Yün-nan roast pig. My men fed on maize. The faces of the people were pinched and wan, unpleasant to look upon, bearing unmistakable signs of poverty and misery, and they seemed too concerned in keeping the wolf from the door to attend to me. 8 catties, as against 11 catties in the capital of the province. At Wuchai, the last stage before reaching Chao-t'ong-fu, the room of the inn had three walls only, and two of these were composed of kerosene tins, laced together with bamboo stripping.

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