Wang Shunyou (1st left) delivers mail to local people. [File photo]
Delivering mail in the backcountry can be treacherous, Wang said. While on his route in the Yalong River Valley in July 1988, he fell two meters off a bridge, dropping all of his mail into the river below. Despite suffering numerous cuts and bruises, Wang courageously jumped into the river and managed to salvage all of his parcels. In 2005, he witnessed a man fall to his death after a suspension bridge over the Yalong River collapsed.
Even though the road is hard, Wang remains devoted to his profession. "If I can die for my work, it is worthwhile," he said.
When delivering mail, Wang packs only what he needs. Besides his parcels, he takes only a bag of food, a bag of pony feed, a tent and a bottle of liquor.
"It's too lonely along the way. I can't make it without drinking," Wang said.
In recent years, handicapped by serious rheumatism, Wang has been unable to complete his full previous route. The local authorities tried to move him to the county post office but he refused and instead chose a shorter route. Today, you can still find him trekking through the mountains and valleys of Muli County delivering mail, just as he has done for the past 27 years.