Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Friday, July 4, 2008

Travelling Diary... Day Two.

Wutai Shan !!! I finally got there, after so many ambitious kilometers... 130 in total, from YingXian... and 2 passes on top of it, the second one being at least 2000m hight above the sea, if not more! I don't know how I did it. Of course my truck-catching technique was extremely usefull, either I would never have been able to reach Wutai Shan. Even in 10 days. As soon as the road starts being very slightly up hill, just a couple of degrees - one would not even feel it walking - it becomes a hell with the bike. It seems to weight 3 tonns... really. When the road becomes steeper, trucks have to slow down also, and then I can catch them, but wen it's not steep enough it's just me and the bike.

Arriving in a small village...

In the village...

Leaving Yingxian I went through a couple of small villages, which was very nice. Not so much trucks, and flat roads. But soon enough it started to climb, but quite fast I managed to catch a truck so I didn't have such a hard time. Then it was flat for some km (too much), and then it went down. Paradise. Then I reached Shahe after 80km, and I had my lunch. Not too bad until then, thanks to the trucks and the downhill. When I told the truck drivers at the diner that I was going to Wutai Shan they laughed at my face! I asked if it was far, so they told me it was 50km away, but I would have to climb the damn pass. One of them was just amazed by the hairs on my legs. But I thought: I'll just have to catch trucks! So I went on. Except that for 20km the road was just a bit uphill... and it was in a valley, and the sun was stronger than I ever thought it could be. I was really dying when I saw a truck coming quite slowly... so I accelerated in order to take the lift, but I wasn't fast enough. I nearly puked after the effort. But I was another truck coming!!! And this one I didn't miss, even though it nearly tore off my shoulder. But I was on. And there was very few of these trucks on this road, of course. So I stayed hooked on the truck all the way up, even though it was very long (close to 1hour...) and my arms very hurting a lot. But I reached the pass, and then I went down once again. Fantastic, magnific, ecstasy, wowee, everything. Cool. I could have prayed if I was religious, for you never know about Chinese brakes... but they held on. (either I would not be writing this beautiful thing here). So I reached the most Buddhist sacred place in Asia (or it was for a long time, now I don't know) at 6:30pm, after 8 hours on zee bike. Then a woman ripped me off by making me pay 8 yuan for a bowl of rice. Nice. And I went to sleep exhausted, once again.

Finally, reaching the pass!!! Both my arms were giving up..

The truck drivers who pulled me, now checking the brakes before going down. You never know with Chinese trucks...

The road and the valley, with Wutai Shan in the bottom. I'm ready to go down!

Picture stop.


veronique said...

bon ici c'est le tour de France qui a començé , alors tente pas le tour de chine.
felicitation pour ce bel effort!