As we creep southwards, slowly leaving the mountains behind us, we've noticed a few changes.
- The landscape is getting greener. There's more farming, and things look a lot more like the stereotypical Chinese countryside.
- Yesterday we passed a chemical plant, the first sign of industry since the far north. That means the return of trucks and trains too.
- While the small towns remain poor, the larger ones seem to be getting more affluent. They're cleaner, we see the occasional western brand, and today we found ice cream for the first time since Beijing.
- It's getting a lot warmer. Yesterday was the first time for two weeks that we weren't cold at any point during the day, and today we were baking in the sun.
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