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  // Dagboek
Daily Journals
During the expedition we will live to see a lot of adventures. Interested in how we live through this expedition and how we managed to succeed in our plans. Here you can read our daily adventures! Enjoy!
  / / Vrijdag 7 November 2003
[ Vorige] [ Index ] [ Volgende ]
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Mayhem on the road
We feel kinda sad leaving Dunhuang. Why...? Well, because it has a nice and cosy feeling to it but even more because of the everlasting impression the sanddunes and the Mogao caves made on us. We have to drive back to the main road, some 130 kilometres away via a bumpy road. On the way Jason spots some goat-antilope who majestically jump across the desert. Some 50 kilometres before the turn-off point towards Lanzhou, we come across a small sandstorm. Fortunately small as it sometimes lowers our view on the road. Not that its too difficult to drive.. it¡¯s basically straightforward here in China. But we don¡¯t know that things will change drastically within the hour. The weather turns and snow starts to fall. Not that much but we know the temperature is now below zero and parts of the road can freeze. The heatingsystem of the car is pushing its limits by this time as our car feels like the best/worst ventilated car on the planet. Smashing the door in India hasn¡¯t done much good either. Luckily we have good clothing and little by little we add some more. We don¡¯t wanna think how driving would have been without the heatingsystem!

We notice the sides of the roads are getting more and more covered by snow and ice. Trucks slow down and then we see the first victim. A car has plunged of the road and the owner looks a bit sad and very much frozen. Then we see a truck that skidded of the road and we know this is getting serious. We slow down and keep a steady pace in third gear. The road is completely frozen by now and a 10 centimeter thick layer of ice covers the road. Wind and trucks have rugged the ice making it even more difficult to drive. We are very much worried and concentrated by now. Suddenly the back wheel hits an icebump and the back of the car skids to the right. A very quick and decisive reaction of michel saves us and keeps us on the road. We all have pounding hearts and are quiet. Some parts of the road are also covered in a thick layer of snow. We are worried to get stuck as we don¡¯t have snowchains with us. Winter has come much much earlier then we expected! We crawl forward, sometimes swearing over the bad condition of the road and afraid of what could happen. A high wall of ice in between the tracks makes us worry about the bottom of the car but fortunately, due to its height, we only hit it once.

Fifty kilometres further the road is blocked by two collided trucks. Everybody drives of to the side terrain and we follow them. But here trucks are bogged in the loose sand and everybody is zigzagging making it difficult to choose a course. This is complete mayhem! We follow a fourwheel drive pickup trip and after some difficult driving and nearly bogging the car ourselves we make it across. Back on the road we drove on slowely for another 50 kilometres. Michel is cheering out loud when we finally hit the clean tarmac again. Jason is silent in the back and elles can¡¯t seem to appreciate mikes cheering.

Michel: i was just very anxious to get across. We had heard the road would be great all the way to beijing and after some maintainance we were almost sure we would make it to the capital. One thing you can¡¯t influence of prepare for is weather like this. It looked like driving through siberia, although we have never been there. The last bit is always the toughest they say... i guess this is going to count for us. But i was very much relieved to have made this part in one piece.

Elles: it was scary to say the least and my heart was still pounding when mike started to cheer. I just couldn¡¯t cheer with him.

Jason: I have seen better roads!

But mike laughs to early as another 25 kilometres down the road the tarmac is covered again with ice. This time we drive a bit slower and crawl further. Every kilometer we see a car or truck broken down. One man is making a fire underneath his dieseltank to melt the frozen diesel so he can try to start it again (don¡¯t try this at home). Trucks cover their fronts with cardboard to protect them from the cold. This is tough driving believe us. We are all very much silent and concentrated on the road and other cars, especially after we see a car in front of us skids of the road and ends up in ditch. We don¡¯t skid this time, pass a broken truck and make it to the clean tarmac! As we hit the better tarmac we see a car passing by at a very high speed. Wow, he is optimistic, Elles sais. We know he is about to crash. In the mirror we see him missing the broken truck by an inch and then skidding sideways crashing in a cloud of snow. That¡¯s all we see of him.. and hope the passengers and driver are alright!

We enter the city of Jiayuguan early in the evening and are all deadtired. The hotels don¡¯t seem to care to see 3 frozen deadtired travellers arriving. Two hotels don¡¯t even allow foreigners and the ones that do are three star hotels. Lucky us, It¡¯s low season but still the rooms costs us a lot. Outside the temperature has dropped well below zero. We have no idea what the next days will bring. We fear the worst!
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[ Vorige] [ Index ] [ Volgende ]
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 
23/10/2001   Return to the Golden Temple
10/01/2002   Pamukkale
10/02/2003   Sponsordag!
11/02/2003   Autorai, here we come!
14/02/2003   Reacties op de Carp
15/02/2003   Clubdag, VCT2
16/02/2003   AutoRai een groot succes!
17/02/2003   Project bus deel 1.
18/02/2003   Interview Radio M!
19/02/2003   Geïnterviewd door Radio M!
24/02/2003   Met de bus naar Hot Rod in Doesburg
25/02/2003   Drivetheplanet in Talkshow!
01/03/2003   Guest in Talkshow!
02/03/2003   Een zondag zonder zon?
03/03/2003   Stichting in oprichting!
04/03/2003   De eerste slapeloze nacht...
06/03/2003   Stichting Drivetheplanet
07/03/2003   Catch me if you can
09/03/2003   Volkswagen beurs een groot succes!
12/03/2003   De chinese kapper.
14/03/2003   Drivetheplanet on television!?
17/03/2003   Showdown on Iraq.
20/03/2003   Breaking news.
24/03/2003   News from Australia!
26/03/2003   Drivetheplanet.com soon on Television!!
28/03/2003   Our first television broadcast!
31/03/2003   Our feelings..
01/04/2003   healthy meals and rainy days
04/04/2003   Household Fair 2003
09/04/2003   Where to go?
10/04/2003   Engine finished!
12/04/2003   Couch potatoes....
14/04/2003   Reïncarnation
16/04/2003   Bullbar in progress
17/04/2003   Another Busy day
21/04/2003   Easter eggs!
22/04/2003   Vaccinations
25/04/2003   Tyres and Murphy’s Law!
01/05/2003   Queensnight 2003
04/05/2003   Races against aids
05/05/2003   MP3's and bodywork
10/05/2003   Only one week to go...
12/05/2003   mp3's and some bodywork
13/05/2003   Camera training and stickers on the bus!
15/05/2003   shop till you drop
16/05/2003   packing and cleaning
17/05/2003   Departure time!
18/05/2003   Internet in Paris
20/05/2003   The man with the golden heart
21/05/2003   drivetheplanet meets the Arc The Triomphe!
22/05/2003   CHAMPAGNE!!!
23/05/2003   Champagne part 2
24/05/2003   Worldchampion snoring
26/05/2003   La Route Napoleon
28/05/2003   The neighbour and the gorges du verdon
30/05/2003   Towards the mother of all grand prix, Monaco
01/06/2003   Menton
02/06/2003   Oldtimer Love & Italia
03/06/2003   Bugfeast and back in time!
04/06/2003   Verona
06/06/2003   Romantic Venice on a budget
07/06/2003   Route decisions
08/06/2003   Costa!
09/06/2003   Romance galore!
11/06/2003   With the bus on the ferry to greece!
12/06/2003   Ignition problems in Patras
13/06/2003   Olympia
14/06/2003   Nafplio
15/06/2003   Nafplio citadel
16/06/2003   Driving in Athens,
18/06/2003   Pickpockets!
19/06/2003   Free camping and the naked shower
20/06/2003   Free camping how it is...
21/06/2003   The oracle of Delphi
23/06/2003   Climbing at Meteora
24/06/2003   Flying carpets and James Bond
25/06/2003   The weather gods
27/06/2003   Climbing Mt Olympus
29/06/2003   The one shoe clan
01/07/2003   Small Ville
02/07/2003   Bordercrossing wýth Turkey
05/07/2003   Istanbul, gateway to the orient
06/07/2003   The Sultan Revenge
07/07/2003   Our first visit to a SOS-Childrens Village
09/07/2003   Turkish Hospitality
11/07/2003   Entertain us!
12/07/2003   Surfing adventure with the bus
13/07/2003   Kiskalesi
14/07/2003   Honeymoonen in Cappadocia.
15/07/2003   Moonwalking
16/07/2003   Kapadokya Balloons
17/07/2003   The road to Erzurum
18/07/2003   Latest Fashion News
19/07/2003   Camera Lost!
21/07/2003   Elles in a turkish bathhouse
22/07/2003   Our Iranian Visa
23/07/2003   The walking toilet
24/07/2003   Roadblocked
25/07/2003   Overlanders & car update
26/07/2003   Iran!!
27/07/2003   Freecamping at Elgoli
28/07/2003   Takht e Soleiman
29/07/2003   Mister Talkveryfast
31/07/2003   Stuck in Tehran
01/08/2003   Waiting and waiting
02/08/2003   Meeting the ambassador of Pakistan
03/08/2003   Soup
05/08/2003   The holy shrine
06/08/2003   Hubble Bubble
07/08/2003   Hotel Abassi
09/08/2003   Sandtornado!
10/08/2003   Yazd
12/08/2003   Car trouble remains
13/08/2003   Problemsolvers!
14/08/2003   Persepolis
15/08/2003   Wedding proposal
17/08/2003   Pakistani desert storm
19/08/2003   Road to Quetta
20/08/2003   A thousand images
21/08/2003   broken fuel line in tribal area
22/08/2003   The river wild!
23/08/2003   The long haul to Lahore
24/08/2003   The prophets underwear
25/08/2003   SOS-Children’s Villages Lahore
26/08/2003   Bizar flagceremony at border
27/08/2003   The golden temple
28/08/2003   Sweating
29/08/2003   King Kong Michael
30/08/2003   Michel & The palmreader...
01/09/2003   FReak Travellers
02/09/2003   Shitloads of toiletpaper
03/09/2003   To the heart of the Himalaya
04/09/2003   Holy cows and crazy horses
05/09/2003   High Altitude
06/09/2003   Desperate measures
06/09/2003   Desperate measures
06/09/2003   Desperate measures
06/09/2003   Desperate measures
07/09/2003   Cloudwalking
08/09/2003   Drivetheplanet on Indian Television
09/09/2003   Michael Knight
10/09/2003   Holy men and Yoga!
12/09/2003   Titanic
13/09/2003   A dead mans visit
14/09/2003   A hospitals emergency ward
15/09/2003   Car Damaged!
16/09/2003   a baby friendly hospital
17/09/2003   A difficult decision
18/09/2003   A burning sensation
19/09/2003   A dead man floating
20/09/2003   SOS-Children Village Varanasi
21/09/2003   The masterpiece of India
23/09/2003   Return to the Golden Temple
24/09/2003   30.000 meals
25/09/2003   Mister Daniels
26/09/2003   A Pakistani press conference
27/09/2003   A Pakistani wedding part 1
28/09/2003   Mister Daniels Part two
29/09/2003   A Pakistani wedding part 2
30/09/2003   Kasur!
01/10/2003   Leaving Lahore
02/10/2003   Return to the tribal area’s
03/10/2003   The horsemarket incident
04/10/2003   Guns of the Khyber Pass
05/10/2003   Inside an Afghan refugee camp
06/10/2003   Too much in a weeks time
07/10/2003   Very much lucky
09/10/2003   Into the himalayas
10/10/2003   It’s a strange night after all
11/10/2003   Changing weather conditions
12/10/2003   sunbathing on top of the car
13/10/2003   Cheap Chocolate Milk
14/10/2003   Nerve wrecking moments
15/10/2003   Gilgit to Hunza
16/10/2003   Waiting for the Japanese Ambassador
17/10/2003   Stonethrowing kids
18/10/2003   Invited by the Major of Gulmit
19/10/2003   What a wonderful world
21/10/2003   A personal benny
22/10/2003   Driving into China
23/10/2003   Sweet and Spicy China
24/10/2003   Lord of the ringtones
25/10/2003   Sleeping in the park
26/10/2003   Raiders of the lost Arch
27/10/2003   Animals everywhere
28/10/2003   Sometimes it is nice...
29/10/2003   A thousand buddha caves
30/10/2003   UFO¡¯s (unidentified food objects)
31/10/2003   Operation Desert Storm
01/11/2003   SOS Urumqi a warm hearted family
02/11/2003   The deserted city of Jiaohe
03/11/2003   Adoring the mummy...
04/11/2003   A Hidden Juwel
05/11/2003   Boring can be beautiful
06/11/2003   An impressive day at Dunhuang
07/11/2003   Mayhem on the road
08/11/2003   The end of the Great Wall
09/11/2003   First aid after an accident
10/11/2003   Elles, the Noodle Queen
11/11/2003   A difficult decision to make
12/11/2003   The public toilet of Ta-er Si
13/11/2003   Heaven on earth
14/11/2003   the screaming monster
15/11/2003   Foodpoisened!!
16/11/2003   Foodpoisening continues
17/11/2003   Wanna massage?
18/11/2003   The Terracotta Army, real or fake
19/11/2003   Shit happens
20/11/2003   Go see the doctor
21/11/2003   Communism of the past
22/11/2003   Crossing the yellow river
23/11/2003   Stepping back in time
24/11/2003   Raise the Red Lantern
26/11/2003   BEIJING, WE MADE IT
27/11/2003   Mao has gone commercial
28/11/2003   The pressconference
30/11/2003   Temple of heaven and the rubber lady
01/12/2003   The last village
02/12/2003   Shipping the car back home
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 

DISCLAIMER:

This project, Drivetheplanet.com is a multi-channel project/event by Michel van Velde & Elles Albering. Michel van Velde & Elles Albering, founders of this project, retain all rights to the Drivetheplanet.com project. This is the only official website. The authors and SOS-Kinderdorpen can not be held responsible for any damages, direct or indirect, that are linked in any way to the project Drivetheplanet.com. The authors (Michel van Velde & Elles Albering) accept no commitment or liability in any form.

Privacy Statement:

This project only collects data entered by users of the site. This information will not be shared with third parties and sponsors. E-mail addresses collected for the newsletter will not be sent to third parties or sponsors. If you have any questions about this project, the site and the practices of this project, please contact Michel or Elles at +31 6 2500 4147.

© 2001, 2002 by Michel van Velde & Elles Albering