Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The shifting sands of China

Nothing to do with boats, but more to do with a past lifetime, this series of articles on desertification in Northwest China make tragic reading. Eastern Xinjiang through Gansu into Ningxia and northern Shaanxi is an area I know very well, having worked there for five years.

It's all a long way from narrowboats and locks and men in blue blazers and dazzlingly white beards hurling abuse at you, but the environmental tragedy of this northern ragged edge of populated China is still heart-breaking. Maybe the distance - in miles and time - makes it worse. I do miss it.

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