China # 27 – Erenhot, Our final Day in China – September 2014

November 23, 2018

During the night the temperature had dropped to 37°F but Green slept well in the down sleeping bag we had provided for her, spread on top of two thick Cascade Design Therm-A-Rest sleeping pads. Morning dawned; another beautiful day, perhaps our last in China. Knowing the bureaucratic paperwork that waited for us at the border, it was good we got an early start.

Our last super highway in China was rather monotonous.

Our last super highway in China was rather monotonous.

An hour or more was spent looking for the office of the customs clearing agent who was supposed to handle our exit paperwork. Wrong address, wrong phone number. The home office of NAVO finally got us connected, but by then, of course, the border was closed. We had time to do some last minute shopping and search for a place to spend the night. Spotting an unfinished office building just out of the center, we set up Green’s tent on the sidewalk using rocks instant of tent pegs and enjoyed our final evening with her. Any port in a storm.

Getting ready for the Border Crossing

In the morning, we had time to take a hot shower. It’s always good to be clean and neat when crossing borders. It was a late 10:00 when the lethargic customs clearing agent finally showed up, and another three or four hours of waiting and lunch break and, and, and—. The reality was that we were supposed to have a 30-day visa for China but because of the National Day Golden Week celebrations starting October 1, the border would be closed for seven days, so we had shorten our visit by two days. Then it took all of two days to wade through the bureaucratic entry process in Kashgar and two more days to get out here in Erenhot. And, so we were told, this was normal.

Saying goodbye to Green

A final happy moment with Green, our constant companion throughout the crossing of China and the last leg of our Silk Road Adventure. We are still in contact with her.

A final happy moment with Green, our constant companion throughout the crossing of China and the last leg of our Silk Road Adventure. We are still in contact with her.

It was afternoon when we said our last sad goodbye to Green. (Her actual Chinese name is Zhang Zhi Qiong. Being born on Earth Day, she chose “Green” as her English name.) Green had been an amazing guide and often put up with our criticism of the drivers, the bathrooms, the flashing strobe lights on the highway, the Chinese government and the numerous police checks. Through it all, we had become great friends and her knowledge and patience gave us lasting memories, outlined in the last 26 Blogs. She fell in love with camping in her green tent and she claimed that she’ll never eat another American style dinner in China because no restaurant could come close to our cooking.

Wanna drive your own vehicle in China?

Can we recommend driving your own vehicle across China? Most definitely NOT, even if you had a three-month visa. But if you do, we can highly recommend NAVO. Green was the perfect guide for us, even with her at times lengthy government-taught details of some subjects that didn’t exactly match the information taught in the West about China.

Entering Mongolia

As we crossed the border into Mongolia, we breathed a sigh of relief. The sky opened up over endless grasslands with herds of sheep peacefully grazing. We would not see another fence for months.

Mongolia: Where could we camp? A N Y W H E R E

Anywhere!!

Evening was coming on fast and the smell of snow was in the air. Where could we camp? Answer: Anywhere!!!!

Leave a Comment




Answer this (to show you're not a robot) *