On November 6, Li Jun arrived in Golmud City in northwest China's Qinghai Province, the final destination of an 8-year trek throughout China.
Li Jun, 32, from Changzhou City in east China's Jiangsu Province, had been a software engineer after graduating from university. Eight years ago, he decided to make a trekking tour of China after hearing about others’ plans to travel the country on foot.
In June 1997, with a sleeping bag on his back and dreams of being a modern Xu Xiake (1586-1641, a famous traveler, geologist and writer in the Ming Dynasty), Li Jun left his home and began his tour.
During his eight years on the road he spent 300,000 yuan (US$37,000).
Throughout his trek, Li Jun met many difficulties and much suffering. One time, he took 28 kg of water and spent 25 days traveling through the Taklimakan Desert in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. During this excursion, he was forced to eat flies and ants because of insufficient food.
Li Jun has also encountered wolves in the wild, but was luckily rescued by a passerby, he told Xinhua.
Also in Xinjiang, Li Jun was robbed. When he fought back against the five bandits he received more than 20 knife wounds, lost all his belongings and nearly his life.
But even this did not stop him. "Once I started, I couldn't give it up. I want reach my limits and challenge myself," Li Jun said.
Li said he had visited some hinterland areas and found the schools there poorly equipped. The difficulties poverty-stricken children faced going to school stirred his emotions. He spent two months as a volunteer teacher at a school in a mountainous area of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Now, Li Jun plans more tours throughout the country to collect charity funds to help children's schooling in needy areas.
(China.org.cn by Wang Zhiyong, November 16, 2005)