FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Plan B

Posted in China, Harbin by folkestonejack on January 10, 2011

After a somewhat sleepless night I headed down to the foyer to meet the guide who was there to get me started on the Plan B that Bernd had devised.

Up to now I’ve only travelled in China by plane, train and the occasional minibus but today I got to experience the bus. The guide took me to the bus station (a little more chaotic than the railway stations I have seen but with familiar elements such as security scanners to check all luggage) and put me on the 7am bus from Harbin to Jixi. In theory, it ought to have got me to Jixi by 1pm…

The bus set off at 7am and began working its way through the city – giving me a small taste of the ice scupltures that Harbin is famous for. However, it was soon evident that all was not well. The bus made two short stops followed by a lengthier one hour stop to try and fix the non-existent heating. Surely, I couldn’t have more bad luck – could I? After all, I had barely got out of the city!

The sight of a man wielding a toolbox didn’t seem an altogether encouraging sight at first – but to his credit he got everything working and the bus got on its way again. The passengers seemed altogether happier as the interior temperature rose too… it would have been no fun to complete a journey of that length with the temperature matching the outdoors at -27!

Finally, after crossing a snowy landscape for many hours I reached Jixi at 2.20pm. I might have been eight hours late getting here but in the end I was just pleased to have arrived after everything that had happened along the way!

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