I open my eyes. It`s 10 to 7. It should be 5.30. Now I'll have to stay until the road reopens. I realize the bus is leaving NOW. I consider how much money I've left while I start packing the speeed of light.Soon after my phone rings. It's Che Li. The bus is leaving now! Why are you not there? I apologize telling her that now I also have to bring a bike, as if that's an excuse. I'll hurry, I say, I will be there in five minutes. I know I can't, but I've been given a lifeline - they have not left yet.
When Xia Wei came with the bike yesterday, he asked, what I wanted to do with it, and I answered that I'd prefer to let it stay until I come back later, but he wasn't happy about this, I could feel. But how could it get in the bus? But he thought it possible, if I would pay for it. For example 100 RMB.
I hurry down the stairs including the luggage and the bike. There's no time to get my deposit back, so now I've paid 170 RMB for this room that sucks!
Does the bike work? It can, the breaks doesn't work and the saddle is set for a child. I must look like a lunatic when I with my backpack speed up the road. A crazy "laowei" going where?
My lungs feel like they`re hanging outside, but I'm getting closer. I should have stayed at the other hotel, it's much closer to the bus station. Now I have to go uphill all the way. And I can`t just take it easy. There`s still a chance that the bus is waiting. I have to slow down the last part, but I`m going up the street that the bus will have to come down now.
I reach the platform. A bus is waiting. It`s obvious that the driver is waiting for me. No room for the bike! I make suggestion on how the wheels can come off. No room. He shows, all is full. I bring up the 100 RMB. Still no chance it seems. After walking from one side to the other several times opening hatches, he start rearranging luggage in one of the compartments. There`s room for my backpack now. What about the bike? No room. I bring up my 100 RMB again, and the bike is brought in the bus and put in the passage between the seats. I`m given the seat next to the driver.
I find out there's a safety belt and lock it. The view is fine from here. Too fine. Because these chinese drivers go like hell compared to danish conditions.
When we pass the bidge south of the city I see that most of the legs for a new bridge is already there And now when the daylight is there I see that the trees on the slope where I ran down to the field actually IS gone. The field is flooded, there must be a dam of some kind downstream. It hardly recognizable.
The driver is capable and the bus is much more comfortable than the minibusses. He moves the bus from side to side to avoid the worst craters. And have to stand on the break from time to time to let the bus go sideways across humps in the road. This early there's not much oncoming traffic so we move quite a bit before we really get stucked. And only for 10 min. There are a lot of shorter breaks when big machines temporaryly blocks the road or workers are dragging long concrete pillars from a truck up the mountain side. Only once the suspension goes all the way. He's good. But we move with a frightening speed seen from my seat - it's worse than a rollercoaster.
Everywhere swarm workers with shovels and primitive tools, while they from time to time are replaced by big modern machines.
When we make a toiletstop the bike has to be taken out, but the other times when the traffic comes to a stop, people have to edge around, if they want to go smoking.
It's a breakneck experience. If it wasn't because I'm able to take some pictures through the front screen, I would gladly have missed it.
In the end we reach the expressway and then we go 100 km/h ahead. This driver prefer the middle lane if there are 3, and there is most of the way from Dujiangyan.
At 12 o'clock we roll into Cha Dian bus station. He's got his 100 RMB, but I really meant wanting to pay 100 for the bike alone, he figured out it was 100 in all. This should according to normal prizes be doubble, but if the bigger busses also have raised prices, I don't know.
Around 12.30 I'm HOME. Home where english is spoken to a resonable level.
|There are lots of obstacles....||...in the road towards Wenchuan|
I put the bike inside. There's a vacant computer! I send the letters from
Maoxian. Almost every time I'm at the computer there are problems of some kind,
but as usual I manage to solve them.
Next is to get a lock for the bike because the original - which was locked - is gone. It's next door so Elaine, who is the most competent goes with me. They only have one of the kind I want and it's not in order, but they can get one in a short time, that'll be 25 RMB? I accept. Such one will be 50 at home or maybe more. My blinking lights are also gone only the rear mounting is still there.
Then I save my 100 photos from the Maoxian trip. And in the meantime the lock arrives and I get a bit to eat.
I start cleaning the bike. It takes more than an hour but then I've also adjusted the breaks and removed the tape that was put on the biggest cogwheel and over the mounting for the computer, which was ruined. And levelled the saddle. And removed the mounting for the light. So now it looks like my bike again, but I don't ride it today, because now it's time to write, so I can be up date.
I didn't mention the night. After being close to sleep several times I entered the state where I didn't count on getting any sleep at all. The aircon that was working rattled like a sick rattlesnake. From time to time it eased down only to start a new session. Sometime after 3.30 I fell asleep. A heavy sleep? Did I really not hear the alarm? That has never happened before. Or didn't it work? Which has happened even not with such ALMOST fatal consequences. I'll have to use the alarm in my phone in stead. Alternatives are always nice.
This must be the end of the first stage of my trip - and I'm satisfied with the result.