I use the day to find my way to the airport on bicycle. It's no surprise that it's hard. It's not in the map, but there's room for it, or in other words, the big area with nothing is the airport. I've found a street, that should take me there in an easy way.
It does. There's just one thing, the small road to the left, that should take me tha last little bit, isn't there anymore. I ask for "Feiji Chang". This lead to a heated discussion among the spectators. I'm on the west side and arrival/departure is on the east side. They want me to carry on to the south. I go a bit, then comes a possible left turn to Air China garages? That's what I think it is. There I find some young people. While they discuss Jan Larsen calls me and cancels. He's sorry, but the problem with the road spoils it all, cause his schedule is too tight, it HAS to be monday-tuesday and if it can't, it's all in vain, because then it can't be broadcasted on the 2 year day of the earthquake. I mean for the actual people it doesn't matter if it's a week or a month back or forth, when the reconstruction is going so slow. But to DR it obviously matters. Let formality be more important than real people! He regrets. I tell him, that's life...
I AM sorry about it, but DR is not going to ruin my trip. Then I'll have to collect material myself. For a book...?
The young people tells me to ask at the Shangliu bus station and I continue south. Ask for it - the new young people don't know. So I follow my "nose". To the left as far as I can go, then right and then left again. In this way I find the wall around the airport. On the top of some piles of earth I stand watching the plane queing up for taking off. I'm halfway I guess, so I go back and on further south until a big road.
This way I go all the way around the airport and I do find the departure hall, which is on the first floor. An officially looking man I ask, shows to be KLM representative. He gives me a phone number where I can get further information. A bicycle costs around 80 euro - that's like two years ago. There is no spicial place for "odd sizes", so I just have to do a normal check in and pay for my overload.
It's almost one o'clock. I started at 9. I eat a bit. Now I just have to find an easier way back home, that I can use when I'm going out here for my flight.
I asked him how to do and it sounded easy, but he doesn't cycle normally, I guess.
I test different roads. Go back several times. Do some drawing in my map,
because it's not accurate here. I bring up my compas several times to get the
When I in the end reach a point where it's possible to ride under the expressway it looks easy. I go back under the expressway to find out if I could have come here in an easier way. But the track is a dead end or more precisely ends along a stream where there's definitely no bridge.
So, back again and further on. What should be easy isn't, for a construction starts and a man prevents me from going opposite the traffic at a narrow one way spot. In stead I have to go down a dirt road.
I end up on a big crossing road going south. Fortunately I don't have to go THAT far before I can make a u-turn and go back.
This street can be followed all the way to the river and within a short time I'm in the center and then I'll soon be home.
I'm bacck around 15.30. An hard day, but satisfying. I better reserve two and a half hours for the trip there.
Now I'll relax and decide how to go to Maoxian and Jiuzhaigou National Park up north, which I've decided to visit.
And tonight I'm going to the opera with Markus and Bernie. Sichuan Opera that is.
And tomorrow I'll go by bike to Dujiangyan to see the famous irrigation system. It's more than 100 km in all, I think.
I have a long talk with the bike guy in the reception, he's been on a tour to the mountain "The Four Sisters", it was snowing and his gears froze. The road from Yingxiu to Woolong was terrible, probably like from Wenchuan to Maoxian.
The opera is like the description. A messy collection of different
traditional chinese arts: shadow play, changing masks, opera, solo
instrument play (erhu), theater and genuine instruments in the
background. Most of it is playback, they play, mime and sing. It seems
not nesecessary. The instruments are fine themselves. When the fire
blowers blow their flames you can clearly smell the kerosene. I like
that, it's the real stuff.
The play back background for the erhu is not nescessary and the ecco too - a totally failure to my taste. And one of the tunes is european normally played on a violin - for what reason?
Before the show we were picked up in a big minibus. Markus and Bernie have been with Mix to buy bicycles for the new hostel. It was a fine experience.
First we were taken some place where we drank a cup of tea. Other guests had massage, but that's not included in our 100 RMB. After the performance M. and B. were going back with another car. We didn't really know if we should part once more at that point. I'm going to their hotel tomorrow evening, maybe - to see if they're there.