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The Adventurer’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Feb 2007

Location: Zoige, China


Getting to Chengdu was not going to be as easy as I thought. Due to the Chinese New Year, all buses from Langmusi had stopped. My only option would be to take a taxi to the next town, and hop on a bus there--IF there was one available. So I paid the exorbitant 250 quai for the taxi. What a trip that was! Exciting I mean. We went over a high mountain pass on a windy, unpaved, bumpy road. There are no guard rails on the sides and the driver drove right on the edge! Amazing scenery, but scary. Then we reached this flat, flat road, and it was smooth sailing all the way. I made it to the bus station to purchase my ticket for the next morning. The clerk charged me the exorbitant 127 quai (ok, not expensive by our standards, but I'm operating on a budget for Chinese standards). Should've been able to get it for at least half that, but the clerk knew it was the only bus out, and my only option, so it was take it or leave it.

I decided to offset the transportation costs by staying in a really cheap hotel. I found one--10 quai or about $1.50 Cdn. I decided to suck it up in terms of filth, no heat, and no running water, which is exactly what I got, not to mention a filthy squat toilet. They did offer an electric blanket though, which was my saving grace. I wandered around town a bit, drank copious amounts of hot tea, and went back to the room to call it an early night. I actually managed to finish reading my book first though. It was also a noisy night, and people shouting kept waking me up. However, I couldn't sleep deeply anyway because I did not want to miss my 6:30 am bus. No problems here, but I woke up to a dump of snow. I trudged through the snow to the bus station and boarded the bus. We waited there for about 1.5 hours to wait for daylight (I think). Then they told us it was impossible to drive right now due to the snow. I was worried that I would not make it to Chengdu at all this weekend, which would mean I'd have to cancel the whole side trip thing. They're going to try again at 3:00, but there are no guarantees, it depends on the snow and the roads. If not, they'll try again tomorrow, which is still gives me enough time to get into Chengdu. Wish me luck!

The snow really reminds me of home--really got dumped on, and it's cold! Strangely enough, frustrating as it may be, it's not getting me down, as this is all part of the experience (isn't this what they call character building?), and what would traveling be without some stories to tell?

Special note to my friends Sean, Erin, Miah, and Ben: I know you're on your way to sunny, hot Thailand, soak in some of that hot sun for me and enjoy! Sorry I couldn't be there.

Also, mom, dad, Val, Joan, Glenda, and Charlotte, enjoy your weekend together! I'm sure lots of cards are in order...better practice because I'm going to give you some stiff competition when we play when I'm back home.

I don't think I'm going to get a chance to upload any pictures until I get into Vietnam--the computers are just to slow, but I've got some amazing shots!