Translations by Chinese into English can be quite humorous. After Reinhard’s death yesterday, we all could use a little humor. We got it with the sign identifying the wheelchair ramp to the restaurant.
The area we traveled yesterday and today is a hotbed of construction for the G5 expressway. It is the most significant piece of roadwork we’ve ever seen. Miles of roadway on cement supports crosses the uneven terrain. Signage is non-existent so we sometimes wind up in the wrong place as we did this morning.
Road construction was not limited to the new highway. Portions of Route 108, our home for several days, go away. Frajo, our senior travel companion at 75, went horizontal in one muddy section. Larry got in an akward position and had to call for reinforcements.
Riding behind Larry, Mick noticed that Larry’s rear tire was a bit low. Teamwork prevailed when we stopped for gas and found a long nail in the tire. Werner had a plug kit, reamed out the hole and sealed the leak. Martin dug out his tire pump and gauge. While stopped, Mick got an urgent call: Gunter’s leg was broken. With Kevin dealing with the return of Reinhard’s body and personal effects to Germany, and Mick now called to tend to Gunter, Mick asked me to lead the group to our hotel in Chengdu, a city of 14 MM people. It’s a tough day for the Globebusters when they ask a one-eyed woman on a Suzuki to lead an international group of BMW riders! I was honored to be asked and got us rolling.
Apparently, Gunter was passing a local’s car. While he passed, the car swerved, pushing him possibly into a metal pole mounted at the side of the road. With an open fracture of his femur, bleeding profusely, Gunter got to his GPS to identify his location, found his cell phone and called for help.
The ambulance rushed him to a nearby hospital and then to Chengdu. Fortunately, Gunter is a very strong man and incredibly physically fit. If anyone can survive this, it is Gunter. Attached is a picture of Gunter enjoying the archery session in Jianshui. Gunter, we are praying for your life and recovery. You will be terribly missed for the duration of our expedition.
As we passed the accident scene, I so wanted to stop and do what I could. I knew, though, that the best I could do would be to safely lead our group to Chengdu. Between the traffic, road conditions, and the emotional drains of Reinhard’s death and Gunter’s life-threatening injury, we needed to take a lunch break. What a delight! Cooking on coal fired woks along side the road were locals feeding locals. A cacophony erupted as we ate our feast. Onlookers surrounded our tables and our bikes. They kept bringing food until we motioned for them to stop. When it came time to pay the bill, they would accept nothing. It was their treat to feed us this feast. Definitely a bright spot in our day.
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