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.