English Version 40
The night goes as expected. At 2 o'clock I awake but I don`t feel my head is so bad, that painkillers are nescessary. Even they`re lying ready beside the bed. But my head is bad when I get on my feet and goes for the breakfast. It`s a 2 star hotel so breakfast is included.
I havn`t really gone out of town before the climbing begins. The reward is given when the river and its surroundings are revealed far down, but it`s too misty for photos.
Soon after comes the explanation for all this climbing. A huge dam
goes from one side of the gorge to the other and the road has to climb a
side gorge and go through a tunnel.
Only 5-600 m but there`s heavy traffic all the way through.
At a new tunnel I choose to walk through. The end cannot be seen, there`s no light and there is a footpath at the side of about 1 m. My headlight comes on. It has been worth gold on this trip. Once the bricks are missing for 3 m`s so I have to wait for a break in traffic, so I can balance the bike on the edge.
According to the map the road just has to follow the river. It doesn`t tell what I see on the opposite side: a road zig-zagging up the mountain for at last to disappear in a tunnel. Hard work, but I succeed and reach the other side. There was no lights but it wasn`t that long. I`m at 1080 m.
The rest of the day can be described as endless climbs which brings me high above the river and rolling downs again to the river. It just goes on and on. At one moment there`s a new road at the other side of the river. It begins at Yingxiu, where the signs too are confusing, but I keep on following what MUST be the road on the map.
The other one seems to be a pay road and it disappears every now and
then in tunnels. There`s also confusion about the distance to Wenchuan,
the target of today. According to the map the distance should "only" be
95, but as the day goes by it`s obvious there`s more than 100. I can`t
go that far in a terrain like this.
One thing holds: my road shall cross the river - and - eventually it does. Then I know where I am. There`s around 12-15 km to a town called Miansi.
During the ride the chain once more goes past the smallest gearwheel and when I have had dragged the bike to a better place it suddenly rolls backwards and the chain is stuck again. But I`m learning. 10 mins, the other Chinese wet tissue and I`m ready again. Must have bought some more of those tissues.
I end up one of those fandian`s that often has rooms too. As usual I`m the sensation of the day. The young ones speaks some english words and that makes it a lot easier.
My own bathroom and toilet (Chinese style) and CCTY9 for 80. I drink the beer my head didn`t need, but never mind. I`m tired. Exhausted.
At the end of the afternoon the sun is seen just over the mountain ridge and is shining on my for a whole minute.
A critical day but when I study the map, I still have a chance of reaching Songpan in two more days, I hope. But that`s for the road to decide.