Shanghai was my first port of entry. But it is not on latitude 34.
I had to head up North, searching for 34.02 coastline. The closest place to it I did get to was Lianyungang.
It was 10 or 20 km north on the coast from my strategic point, to which I coudlnt go as it was just a harbour, and access is not allowed.
Lianyungang is a tourist destination for China, it has a mountain where Monkey king is supposed to have lived.
Sun Wukong also known as the Monkey King, is a main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West written by Wu Cheng’en. In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India.” says wikipedia
I arrived late at night – of course there was the usual thing with the taxis….but I made it to the hotel and the spoke a tiny bit english.
The next day , there was something in the air that dazed me…..nevertheless, I decided to head to the mountain.It was far, it was VERY hot, and it was crowded.
In china any touristic destination is well oiled: gates to pay entry, a fake village with shops to walk through,with tons of shops, then a bus you have to pay to take you somewhere. That was my first encounter with the system.I had no idea then that it is how it will be everywhere.
When I arrived at the top here is what i saw: nothing the haze/pollution was too strong
The monkeys were hiding too to my disbelief. The heat probably did knock them out as much as it did me!….I have only the little statues to prove me it was really the mountain of monkeys.
On my way down, I needed to go to the toilet – I see a house with toilet sign! I think oh thats rather nice, it looks like a proper house turned into toilet.However I didnt make it there…approaching it , i was hit by a monstrous smell, I nearly puked…yet people were coming in and out of it. How ? i have no idea.And I am tough, I am not ” precious…..” that was too much. From then on, in China, I was in a chronic dehydrated state, scared to have to go to the toilet.
I still have the beach!
So here is my latitude 34.02, as I am looking south towards that side.
I went walking in the street near by , there was the end of a market, some entertainment , people coming out when its relatively less hot….It was interesting and I am sure I entertained a lot of the locals who are not used to see strangers with big eyes.
The next day , I stayed in the hotel room, totally knocked out – I felt dazed and unwell.Not stomach but breathing issues and mind very foggy and the throat burning.