Saturday, October 9, 2010

9th October
I was picked up by a guide from my hotel and taken to the point from where the tour bus left for the Three Gorges dam. It was about 35 km away. All I can say is that it is really huge in all respects as compared to the Sardar Sarovar. We saw it from various locations… from between the dam and the ship lifts (point A in figure below), from right next to the dam from the reservoir side from the north bank (point B), from the south bank almost frontally (point C), right next to the shiplifts, and from the bridge spanning the river  (point D). It was quite foggy on the river;  the dam was as if an apparition.
 There was a Finnish guy and myself only two foreigners; the whole bus was filled with local tourists. There were at least 10 other buses out of which 8 were local tourists. Looks like the Three Gorges project is an installation of national pride.
Got back to the hotel at 14:00 hrs. Had checked out in the morning and left my bags at the reception. I left immediately, but since I knew I would be leaving so late, I had only scheduled 120 Km to Jingzhou for today.
Just 5 km from Jingzhou and there was a bang! Since I knew I hadn’t had today’s share of bad luck, I knew instantly it had to be me… of course it was, the side car tyre had worn out and the tube had burst again!! Luckily as the city was nearing, there were a few houses and shops. Heaved the bike to a side to a fabrication workshop. The owner was watching me all along. As I pointed towards the wheel, he took out his phone and nodding at me made a call. Thanking him, I got busy unpacking the sidecar, putting it on the jack and removing the wheel.
When I was done, his wife told me through gestures to get on his bike and take the wheel to the mechanic…The mechanic’s shop was kept by a lady, and her brood of three boys did all the jobs. They changed the tyre and the tube. I realized I did not have enough cash…  the man who had got me there took me another 5 km to an ATM to withdraw cash. It is amazing how helpful people are… and without any expectations.
Finally reached Jingzhou at 19:30 hrs, found a hotel and checked in.

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