Walking Guangdong to Beijing Day 2

Day 2 part 1

My relatives and neighbours came at about 8am for walking with us for a while. Darrah and Brian started with a little hangover. My mother has knee problems, so, we said goodbye at the village entrance and the rest of us kept moving. My father rode a bike in front and took pictures. I carried my big backpack on my back, and a small bag in front, every time when I walked, the small bag in front moves. When we got to Xiaolan, father turn back to home because he couldn’t bear my moving bag anymore and decide to give me his bag. I must agree that his bag is much better. It doesn’t move at all, and it is much easier for me to take the water out. We stopped for lunch in Dongfeng. Father ordered a lot of dishes. Maybe he worried that after this lunch Darrah and I won’t have good food on the way.

We had a hard time saying goodbye with my family after lunch. The four of us kept walking. We walked slowly thanks to my Dad getting Brian and Darrah drunk last night. It was 2:45 when we arrived Shunde of Foshan city, to walk to our destination Xianquan would need to walk for another 2 hours. We decided to take a bus. When we got off, a beautiful scenery was right in front of us. Xianquan hotel stands silently with a background of green range of mountain. You can see the hotel reflection from the lake and on the lake side there are green and yellow trees. What a great place! We loved this place straight away so we started looking for camping site but unfortunately there were no suitable places. We walked another kilometer and found a place where we thought we can camp. It’s a real estate construction site and the place we chose was behind an empty building, very close to worker dorms. While Brian and Darrah set the tent up, Qing and I went for water and food (In fact, I prefer to stay and set up the tent because my left foot hurt so much that I couldn’t walk properly).

Part 2 of Day 2

We thought we could stay on this construction site

We walked about 20 minutes to find a shop. I got Brian’s phone call while still in the shop said someone was asking them questions. I answered the phone and it was a girl from the office of the construction site. I explained that we are walking to Beijing for charity, we camp for saving money and i promise we won’t make any problems. She said she understood and admired what we were doing but she needed to get the permission from her boss. She took a picture of my name card which has information about the walk and send it to her boss but it didn’t help. We had to leave. Her boss blamed her that she was too easy to believe in people. How could she know what we said was true? I said she can go to the volunteer’s website or check Zhongshan TV. The answer was “no no no, go go go”.

She was sorry about that and gave an offer which was walking with us to a park she thought was suitable for camping. We had to pack everything and left with our dead tired bodies. When we finally got there, we were so disappointed because it was not a park at all. It was an entrance of a village, a very small place with a liang ting (like a small pagoda), that’s it.

Besides that, it was next to people’s houses. It was 5pm already and we still hadn’t found a place to sleep. I was very tired, upset and my left foot hurt a lot. At that bad moment, I got a phone call from Gavin that to extend the visa, Darrah need to go back to Zhongshan to take a picture in the government and get a number to get the visa

I was angry with the woman who received us last time when we were there. She had bad attitude and she didn’t tell us that and it meant we needed to return to Zhongshan to sort it out.

We were all in a bad mood and had no energy to walk anymore. We took a taxi to the nearest hotel. This was the best option. The driver took us to “Ru Jia” hostel which means “like a home”. A double room cost 199RMB which was too expensive. We walked out of the hotel. I stood at the road, holding my walking shoes in hand and the heavy backpack was on my back, watching cars go past. Suddenly I had a feeling of being lost. I didn’t know where should I go. There was a second that I just wanted to go back to the hotel, got a room whatever it costs 199 or 299. It was too expensive for others but why should I care when my foot hurt so much that I absolutely couldn’t walk again? They could keep looking for a cheaper one or I didn’t mind to pay 100RMB for them. I just wanted to lay down in bed. When I made up my mind, lifted my head and turned around. I saw two Chinese characters that said 住宿 which means ‘accommodation’ on a building wall. We went there. A single bed room cost 40RMB and a double room cost 60RMB. The room is simple but clean and most importantly there was hot water in the shower! We got the room immediately. I explained what we are doing, gave the Laoban my name card and explained the reason why Darrah didn’t have her passport with her. Darrah could stay without any problems.

So, we ended up with 30RMB each for the night instead of 100RMB.

Both Darrah and I didn’t eat dinner. Darrah went to bed after a shower. I put my legs into hot water and massaged them. The Neroly massage oil was really good and I felt much better. Darrah slept very well but I woke up many times by the noise from the road.

Summary: If we can’t find a place for overnight and we are too tired to walk any longer, we should stop and take a bus or taxi to find a hotel.

By being kick out of the construction site, we learnt that things you think are meaningful maybe meaningless to others.

Just persist a little longer and keep hope because relief may be right in front you.



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Jerry Grey

Jerry Grey

I’m British born Australian living in Guangdong and have an MA in Cross Cultural Change Management. I write mostly positively about my China experiences