The last road in China

By Erik Nilsson | China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-09 08:03
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Abuluoha became China's final village to connect to the country's paved road system last summer. [Photo by Yin Gang/For China Daily]

Traveling outside of Abuluoha often meant ripped pants. That's because the only way out of the village in Butuo county in Sichuan province's Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture was a precarious mountain path of loose stones that would cascade down the slopes with every step.

And villagers, likewise, would also often tumble down the sometimes 90-degree slopes.

The perilous trip took eight hours each way.

Villagers' surplus walnuts-otherwise a valuable crop-would rot since they couldn't transport them outside to sell. Farmers instead lived off subsistence agriculture, mostly eating coarse corn that would elsewhere be reserved for animal feed, since it could grow in the rocky slopes' generally infertile soil.

"If there was a drought, there was no corn. We went hungry," village chief Jilie Ziri recalls.

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