Monday, April 24, 2006

turning wheels

boulder king
boulder king,
originally uploaded by vfowler.
7am street noise pissed me off. Luck was on my side the rest of the day though. Yak helped me get the extra night's unused tariff back, and secured tickets on the last bus of the day to Lijiang.

good bikes, wrecked boatOn pretty good hard-tails, the 3 of us rode through dozens of hay piles spread on the road. The ferry ported us over Erhau Hu (lake) and we clambered up the stairs before burning rubber down the shore-line road.

lunch, a local fish specialtyPast a small shipwreck, a rough downhill single-track made a mess of Yak's machine: 3 punctures! By the time the tyre was repaired and lunch was decimated, we had to bus it back to make the dock in time for the return voyage. Nothing short of the usual logistics nightmare in countries like this - several boats all work for the same company, but require 30 minutes of convincing before agreeing to take us back.

ParashuramaThe 6pm mini-bus gets out on the highway. I thought all the scary road trips were behind me after those in northern India and that road in Bolivia. How stupid of me to think that! I was watching our driver and I kept thinking of the multi-armed deity. He has one hand constantly flicking the high beam, another beeping the horn, one answering the mobile phone, another smoking, one hand changing the destination sign propped on the dashboard, change gears, steer, and of course talking to the conductor requires another 2 hands! I half admire the skill of these drivers for surviving, half wonder if they actually have a license.

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