The driver called me at 7:41 in the morning saying he’s waiting for me outside the hostel, which was 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Very punctual. We picked another guest, Ms. Zeng, and set off for the two lakes that are not ravishingly exploited yet – Wusute Yadan Geo-Park and East Taiji Nai’er Lake.
Driver Mr. Wang pointed to the buses on the highway and told us all those buses running between Salk lakes and Golmud belong to the company he works for. The bus drivers are not allowed to surpass another bus from the same company. If reported, they will be fined with 200 RMB, which equals to their one day salary. He also asked for our permission to drive fast because his company once received a complaint from one of his guests about speeding, who didn’t say anything while he was in the car. ‘It’s not easy to make a little bit of money…’ Also not easy to make a little bit of money are the cleaners working at the free public toilets by national highway 315 where nothing else is around within tens of miles. The job is remote, dirty, lonely and insignificant, yet so important in terms of keeping a satisfying sanitary condition for the passers by. I wonder what motivates them to take on a job like that, what kind of attitude they have for life. And I hope one day technology will help eliminate this type of jobs without affecting their living standard… yes, talking about Andrew Yang.
We drove through Sebei natural gas field where the West-East Gas Pipeline project extracts natural gas and transport to Xining and Lanzhou via massive pipelines running all the way for thousands of miles. After the gas field we encountered Xitieshan (锡铁山, literaly Tin-Iron Mountain) where, obviously, metal mines are located. The landscape reminds me a lot about Death Valley, where the colors of the mountains change from earthly yellow to brown to dark grey. The second lake we are going to today is actually a lithium mine. What rich natural resources they have!
Next is ‘the most beautiful road of China’, which also reminds me a lot of west USA. This kind of long straight roads out in the wild are not easy to find in China. It is in a Yadan landscape area surrounded by huge soil hills.
Despite the very special and nice view, of you pay attention, plastic wastes are everywhere. With our current technology, it is impossible for the time being to thoroughly clean up the road side wastes. I hereby call for all tourists to not litter where it doesn’t facilitate a proper disposal.
After almost 4 hours driving, we finally arrived at Wusute Yadan Geo-Park. I do not want to describe how beautiful this place is, so that more people would come to damage it. Just look at the picture. It always makes me sick to see plastic waste, seriously, although there isn’t much yet here. Same for East Taiji Nai’er Lake.
My travel companion today, Ms. Zeng, is a girl few years older than me. I like her personality very much. Having a child of 9, she decides to go working in Japan to realize her own value, after working as a Japanese translator and then housewife for several years. We both are waiting for the suspended visa from the Japanese embassy. We hope the pandemic come to an end soon, and see each other there.
Back to the hostel, I met another girl going to a different volunteering project of Green River, starting also from 1st July. What a coincidence! We exchanged each other’s wechat, and looking forward to live streaming both projects!