July 12, 2014
After struggling with diarrhea all night, I woke up to feel hungry, which was a very good sign. We went to the restaurant of the hotel and ate as much as we could. I was hungry alright, but I could eat not very much.
We started at 9:15 in somewhat scorching sun. After two km of riding in the city trying to get out as soon as possible, two cops in a car stopped us. They asked questions in Chinese. I repeated the word, "English" again and again, but they would also repeat their questions in Chinese. I gave them a copy of my passport. One of them took a photo of my passport using his personal cell phone!! After 15 minutes or so, an English-speaking woman was called. She asked for our original passport and some general information, such as where we were going and all. After a few minutes, we were on our way.
Slowly, the landscape changed into desert, no trees, no water, no nothing. We rode nonstop, knowing that soon, we wouldn't be able to continue because of the heat. So, after 71 km and another passport control, we arrived at a row of two-storey buildings on the side of the road. We bought more water to get ready for the road, but the heat was unbearable and there were no trees or town in the next 80 km. surprisingly, there was a hotel there. Well, there were rooms on the second floor of the building. After eating some rice and vegetables, we checked in. We will leave tomorrow very very early to beat the heat. I was feeling better, but I still was very weak. When I looked in the mirror the other day with my t-shirt off, I was scared at how much weight I had lost. I look like people in concentration camps in WWII. I sure need to eat better.