Into Mongolia, September 1991

September 14, 2010 David Hurley 0

From Shanghai to Beijing the countryside is low-lying, monotonous and heavily cultivated, with paddy fields flanking the Yangtse, tobacco and wheat fields farther north. Everything changes with the arrival of the wall-topped mountain ranges north of the capital. They are far removed from the upturned onigiri mountains of Japan, being more akin to loaves of bread, well risen and mouldy with age. As these mountains recede they give way to broad expanses of semi-steppe over which the sun sinks with interminable leisure.