Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Breakdown

No, not me with the stress of constant travelling, but our 4x4. We had always intended resting up at Shandan stud once we hit Gansu, but as it is a long way off our direct route, we decided to trailer the horses there and rest for a couple of days before returning to where we left off. Unfortunately the road was worse than we expected. After a second trip to fetch Bajiu and Shandan (Hua and I rode along the Silk road to the nearest turn off), the car gave up the ghost about 40kms from the main road and 20kms from the stud. We were in the middle of nowhere on a wide plain backed by mountains, with dusk falling and skeins of geese honking overhead on their way to a nearby lake. By the time the secretary of the stud had driven over to assess the situation (a burst radiator) and a huge tractor had arrived, it was pitch dark – then it was two hours being towed across the grasslands with not a light in sight until we reached the little town at the centre of the stud.
However, thanks to my wireless stick and the solar powered plug point in the trailer, I could e-mail while we were waiting! You can see the weather is beginning to turn chilly.

A new radiator has been ordered and in the meantime we are enjoying hot showers and flush loos at the very comfortable hotel here, which has views of the stunning snow capped Qilian mountains.

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