|First aid after an accident
Zangye is famous for it reclining Buddha statue, apparently the biggest in China. After seeing the immense statues at Dunhuang, we are up for it although we are still tired. Driving in China hasn’t come easy. Very bad roads, sand and snowstorms turned short drives into all day long rides. Besides driving we are in China as well to see the sights. This and writing the stories and updating the site make it long, very long days. We leave the hotel and again the roads are very slippery. This makes driving again very difficult and when we can’t seem to find the Buddha, the irritation level starts to rise. When we finally find it, have parked and secured the car we are ready for the Buddha. But then we are told we are not allowed to park the car where we just put. The man had been watching us for 5 minutes and had seen us closing the curtains. By this time the irritation levels reaches it summit. Mad as a bull in a Spanish arena we jump in the car, swear and drive of. @*&*&^%9*)(&%%$ Chinese! We park the car safely at a hotel round the corner. The men at the hotel didn’t even dare to ask for a parking fee.
Fortunately Buddha has a calming charisma and it doesn’t take long to enjoy the place. The pillars that hold the roof block the view on the statue a bit, but it’s still nice. The pagoda and the old wooden houses in the back are even more impressive. We walk back via a typical Chinese street with meat and vegetable vendors and pots and pans cooking outside. This is the real china for us. Most of these streets have already been cleared and taken over by high rise modern building. A shame but on the other hand understandable.
From Zangye we decide to drive straight to Lanzhou. Wuwei, in between has nothing to offer and although on our schedule, we skip it. The ice on the roads is melted and okay to drive. Some parts are toll roads and actually quite perfect to drive. About 150 km’s before Lanzhou we buy some petrol. There we are told we have to cross a mountain with some steep bits and that it’s snowing on the top. My god… not again. But yes, as soon as we reach the pass that leads to the 3000 meter highest point it starts snowing. Not just a little bit but a lot. Just us and another car are on the road. We both drive slowly, the other car up front. Right at the steep bit the car suddenly breaks for no reasons and nearly stops on the road. We have to swerve around it and wonder why he is doing this. As soon as we stop we know we will get stuck! Slowly we climb further. Lines of snowing curl over the frozen road making it quite mystical. We are happy to see this beauty as it diverts our mind from being stressed. We make it to the top and then start our descent. Slowly as speeding is the most stupid thing to do. At the bottom of the hill we can breath again. But not for long……
In a bend on the highway we suddenly have to break hard. A car is upside down on the road, an woman crawls out. We quickly park the car, put our alarm lights on and grab the emergency kit. We run to the car and see two men crawling out of the wreck. Miraculously, they all seem to be alright. ‘Elles, quickly... grab the breaklights!’. We have breaklights in our car underneath the seat for emergencies. Breaklights are plastic sticks with some chemicals in it. When you break the inner part they start to illuminate brightly. Excellent for emergency likes this. We place the breaklights on both sides of the wrecked car and keep one ourselves. Right in time as a truck is about to run into the wreck at high speed. Michel waves the breaklight frantically which eventually warns the driver.
We check all three passengers and luckily they all seem to be alright. We hand them the light sticks but they haven’t got a clue what to do with them. We explain it and when a car comes up at high speed the man sees the point of them and starts waving. Jason has a go as well with one of the lights and starts dancing and jumping around on the highway like a mad man. Look… I am imitating Michel! By this time we are pissing our pants and try not to show it to the others. Jason is great.. we have to admit…. and we are lucky to have him as a guide!
We are asked to bring the girl to Lanzhou. Not a problem as Jason can use a bit of company on the backseat. But the girl has only sick horror stories and with a horrible high pitched voice she keeps shouting about he ex-boyfriend being killed in a car accident spilling his guts over the streer and all!! This all the way to Lanzhou! We are happy when we arrive safely in Lanzhou and the girl stops shouting. We expect a thank you but no. The girl gets out of the car and leaves. No thank you… nothing! Jason was happy to get rid of her as well as he thinks she has a bad spell over her and did not want the spell to come over the car. Let’s hope it won’t!