Beagle’s Blot 14 | Hopping

Two days later, I was ready for my first hopping experience.  I had studied the map extensively and done numerous calculations, but could only conclude one thing: it was a long way.  A damned long way.

Now, the official measurement in Mandaria is called a quart, though they don’t seem to be aware of this in the First Fist.  A quart is what you get if you split the island of Mandaria into quarters and then measure from the centre along the line of one of those quarters.  A quart is therefore about half the width of Mandaria.  Go on, try it out.  It’s true.

The other thing about a quart is that it’s not strictly defined, but it is always about the same size.  About twenty-five kilo-skips in old-Mikaetan money.

Anyway, I digress.  The journey from Callij to Mallis was more than a quart, but I also took a rather mad route.  The trip through the mountains was draining, so in reality a quart is probably a little more than my journey from the merchant’s abode up to the tip of Mandaria.  That took me a good couple of days, but it was a pretty casual pace on solid roads.

So, time for a comparison.  What is the distance of this trip I am about to embark on?  It looks, by all my measurements, to be about twenty quarts.  Twenty!  That is a lot of days of travel, and I haven’t got to the worst of it yet.

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