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The Great Northern Horizon

Nomadic Life by bike

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China

2018

From North to South

How to relate our experience of China without getting lost in the details that create the magic of the Empire. China is different, it is the magic of alterity. And yet, it challenges us, at times it oppresses us.

The Middle Kingdom

We enter the Empire's gate through the Gobi Desert. The change from one border to another is rarely so drastic. China then offers the softness of its yin energy to our tired bodies. We feel a relaxation deep inside. But the desert is not over. It continues tirelessly among Bactrian camels. The wind is howling, temperatures are dropping. From now on, they remain below zero. We then enter a swirl of sensation, the return to civilisation and the endless distances, the warmth of hotels heated by coal that piles in the front and small soulless towns, invitations to share festive meals and anger when we are turned away from all the hotels in the city. From one challenge to another, we cycle from wild and pristine expanses to China's gigantic control system.

Inner Mongolia

Slowness, softness, we need it so much. Winter is already settling in the North, we point out on the map the next region we will discover. The heart of China, mountains that never end. Green mountains, bamboo forests, and a dancing mist. A world of mystery... tinged with our imagination of China. Reality is less mystical. We undergo the huge vertical gain. The mist more than dancing, turns out to be a veil that dulls the landscapes.

We could not have imagined what would happen. We literally plunge into the Chinese density. In the heart of these mountains, everything that can be is sculpted by man's hand. Small fields, sometimes on terraces, are planted everywhere. We discover the craftsmen who make all kinds of things by the side of the road, sometimes on the road. We are amazed by this life that is being revealed. There are those who carve friezes, those who weave baskets. There are noodles hanging to dry, jars stored in front of houses.


Un monde de Mystère

Discovering China is more than just witnessing its architecture or being delighted by its flavours. By penetrating its territory, we enter into a system of thought, in an ancestral wisdom based on the knowledge of Qi, the energy of Life. It tints all aspects of the Life from Chinese Medicine to Feng Shui in architecture. It is a system of thought inspired by the I Ching, The Book of Changes.


We make the choice to accept what is before us, in order to bring more joy and lightness. We then discover the fabulous cave of the Flying Dragon, the Cliffs of the White Tiger and the sumptuous formations of Zhangjiajie.

Here we enter a highly sacred place. An energy vortex. These formations are an invitation to a perfect vertical alignment, an invitation to enlightenment. Along the river, it is a sanctuary of harmony where the secrets of Mother Earth pulse.


The Power of The Earth

Chinese faces. We encounter the gaze of so many men and women, the Han population and the ethnic minorities who compose the Empire. The children also winked at us from the basket in which they are carried. Despite the diversity, China's unity never ceases to amaze us. Its motto is prosperity and above all a mould from which there is no escape. When we leave China, when our ears have learned to perceive the tones of Mandarin language, we finally understand the weight of the stares. Here, the social framework is all-powerful.

The reality is also an extraordinary welcome. Those who believe in us have been incredibly generous and of boundless friendship. We then experience China from the inside, wrapped in the incredible flavours of Chinese food.


Les Visages de la Chine

We enter the treasures of China, diving into the joy of otherness. In what China can bring of Magic to our imagination. In Fenghuang and Furong, we discover these ancient cities. Fantastic images where craftsmen perpetuate century old traditions.


From Fenghuang to Furong