[10:33 PM, 5/8/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: An other wall walk up the road past terraced plantings of walnut trees which gradually give way to sweet chestnuts. Mostly quite young trees. A very steep ascent!! We wind up the road and take an earth path among the bushes completely failing to see the proper concrete one... Ip and up this walk takes us nearly two hours with lots of stops for breath in around 30C on a fairly cloudy day. My phone says we've only covered 4K when we finally reach the wall and find a lady with a stall selling trinkets and fizzy drinks! The wall is mad teetering on these high narrow ridges it loops Up and down through the trees that have grown up around it. We walk along it through more or less ruinous forts lovely sturdy Romanesque buildings. The one we stop at has suffered some collapse it's front has fallen off and rubble has fallen into its back blocking the exits. A wobbly pile of the neat square blocks had been made against one wall so that one can climb through the collapsed barrel vault and up to the next bit of wall. This ascends at some crazy steep angle and seems to be covered with a perfect smooth pavement not like our steep bit yesterday which had good steps. We don't go up but are passed as we draw by a number of large hearty types, largely boys, Australian, Dutch, Chinese?
[3:42 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Friday a day of touristic exploration starting with a breakfast for champions (what else?)
[3:57 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Then a bike ride. Plus points: Beijing is totally flat, traffic is not fast, weather was sunny and windy. Minus points: traffic is somewhat chaotic - each man for himself, pedestrians do not have right of way on zebra crossings, there are bike lanes but shared by parked cars, tuktuk type vehicles,motor bikes, pedestrians with pushchairs or other wheeled luggage and bicycle rickshaws, rules of the road do not apply... pass where ye may! And cars can turn right on red. Ah well following Rose made it less scary and I started to get slightly used to it by afternoon. So we went to the Houtong districts. Old Peking style areas single storey buildings narrow streets. The buildings and houses are organised around courtyards with only a small face into the road. Lots of congestion potential cars just creeping and squeezing along among all the bikes and other vehicles and junk parked on the streets. Occasional large and grand buildings, temples and posh dwellings which have grand entranceways.
[4:00 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Then lunch at a Younan place: lots of chillies and interesting salads and on to look at the Forbidden City, from the temple on a hill expressly built in order to show the populace the might of their emperor. We didn't go in.
[1:43 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Home t Beijing where it is gray and the air fairly polluted. Two glasses of wine (I haven't had a drink in weeks!) and two cats. Bad drawings no need t put up but I can't have a day with no drawing!!
[12:00 PM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Today we couldn't go out. Huge pollution a sand storm in the Gobi so drawing eachother. X
[12:01 PM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Tomorrow we will go out n find something interesting!
[11:34 AM, 5/5/2017] Steph Black: Lovely!
[3:41 AM, 5/6/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: We did make a tiny foray into the outdoors - to the spa across the way for a post-Mongolian pedicure. Total distance walked on thurs 0.55k.
[8:43 AM, 5/3/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: No signal in our camping site/ger/yurt accommodation!!! Will send pix shortly xxx
[1:03 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: So up early to the airport- total crazzzyness as it was the start of a three day w/e but we made it to our flight. Under two hours to Ulaanbaatar. A pretty disheveled and somewhat chaotic place old Soviet buildings and lots of new ones going up. They are having a mining boom which is probably only semi good. A strong first impression was of colour!! Painted buildings in all sorts of hues!!! So I coloured my Ulanbaatar pix as Rose had some aquarelle pencils. Xx
[1:11 AM, 5/4/2017] Half a day of close inspection of cashmere shops. Our co shoppers in one were a raft of about four llamas in proper robes one with a fancy hat. They left the shop with bulging bags. The shop's motto 'From goat to coat'. Next morning a ride from our huge garrulous Dutch host out to his ger camp. Stopping on the way to buy hay for his cows four bales hoisted onto the roof of the Land Cruiser by a man parked in some waist ground with his hay lorry! Sorry pix are on the camera not phone. Far end of the journey is cross country through a river and over the ground no road. After a lunch of hearty Dutch apple pie. He made it the day before f his daughters birthday we set out up the cow trail to the top of the nearest hill
[1:16 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Was VERY steep getting up there. The camp is at abt 1600m so we hoped the altitude was making us extra puffed!!
[1:18 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Spring not really underway. Bear trees with no hints of buds in UB. At the camp one willow just in flower but flowers opening on the stony dry hillsides.
[1:39 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: Our second night less cold (above freezing!). Third day we decide to walk along the river. Now lots of the willows are haloed in pale yellow and as we walk we see hints of spring green buds and ducks/geese in the river and flying in pairs. At least three species golden, brownish and black and white. Also a black and white woodpecker. Felt like we were witnessing the first opening of spring! In the woods we came to a sacred tree a huge and ancient larch a shamanic worshiping spot a wooden fence around it and triangular corrales of smooth river stones each with three poles, around it. All draped and wound around with blue rags. Blue scarves for the sky which is worshiped. I would suspect that shamanic and Buddhist beliefs are quite intertwined as they are Tibetan Buddhists.
[1:40 AM, 5/4/2017] Anwyl Cooper-Willis: On the way home we drew the ice n compacted snow on the river
[1:40 AM, 5/4/2017] Looking into the get
On Thursday, we did so much walking there wasn't time to draw until waiting for the train home. The results are some typical Japanese landscapes - and a storage shed built of clay and daub -- to resit fire and protect its precious contents! Then on Friday, a trip to the silver mine and a conserved historic village.