.Of the 370 Km to Ankang almost 290 was fully hilly, the road twisted left and right, wound up and down. I thought I had my share of mountains already, but looks like they are not going away so easily. Today after the first 50 Km I was already hoping it would end soon but one could see layers upon layers of the mountains, and I knew, not so soon. As I was on my way up on one ordinary gradient neither so sharp nor steep, there was a stone (probably used to stop a vehicle from rolling back) which my sidecar wheel hit. Because of the momentum, and the turning, the sidecar lifted up I tried to brake but lost control and the bike careened and went out of control…and went and crashed on the rocky side of the mountain!! I couldn’t believe what had happened. I wasn’t really hurt except a bruise on the shin but Rocinante took a real bad beating on the left side… the foot brake pedal got totally twisted up and out, the foot rest and the front indicator broke and the handle bar and the wheel went out of alignment. I gathered myself and checked if it could be started… it could. The damage was mainly physical. I went up the remainder and down, with the twisted handle and faith in the front brakes… I was upset, but hell bent on not losing another day. I decided to get it fixed and meet my target come what may. At the bottom, before the next climb began was a small village, it luckily had mechanic… and a good one at that. He put the brake pedal on the anvil and perfectly hammered it into shape, replaced the front foot rest with the pillion footrest. Thankfully it was not the fork but the handle bar that was bent, and had to be replaced. After a set back of an hour and a half I was ready to take on the balance 300 km. Driving extra cautiously at first, I slowly got back into gear after about an hour.
Reached Ankang city at 7:45 with the last light. I had checked the way out of the city for my next destination (on google maps). Basan Road was one of the listed locations so had decided to look for a hotel in that vicinity making my exit from the city easier. Accordingly I had got the attendant at Xi’an to also write for me on a piece of paper, Basan Road in Chinese script. Once there I asked around for a ‘do-you-qua’ and got me room… there is no internet in the room and I do not have the vim to go out again looking for a cyber café.