|A difficult decision to make
Early in the morning we arrive at the car and pack it. Michel does his quick inspection of the car and comes to a horrible conclusion. Somebody has been standing on the rack on the back of the car bending it down. Well bending is the wrong word… breaking it!! Furious with anger Michel inspects the damage and sees the rack has come loose at two out of 4 points from the car. It’s not the rack that is damaged but it’s the car. It was build for two jerrycans and a sparetyre and not a stupid a-hole on top of that!
Well pissed off we asses the possibilities and come to the conclusion that leaving it like this is dangerous. If it breaks it will damage the exhaust pipe leaving us further from home or better say Beijing. Imagine it breaking of at a busy highway! Reparing is not possible and that leaves us with the difficult decision to leave the rack behind, only leaving the bumper. We cannot take it with us in the car as we have Jason in the back already and now a spare tyre. Sad, very sad we leave Lanzhou. This is not good for our motivation but we have to move on. We have to reach Beijing, that’s what is most important!
We head for Ta Er Si, just outside Xining, the place where the Tibetan Yellow Hat set has its main temple complex. It is described as little Tibet and we are very much curious. We expect a small Tibetan place with monks everywhere. But when we drive into town we see nothing but ugly houses and torn down buildings. Looks more like a warzone, michel remarks. We see no signs of monk or anything remotely Tibetan. We quickly find a hotel and check in. We are tired and can use some good food. Tomorrow we will have a look at the complex, where-ever it may be!
Jason is up for the local special dish, intestines. We refuse as we had them once and vowed that was the last time. Some chicken for us please! Jason goes for the special, a soup with cow stomach in it. Brave as we are we give it a try anyway. Conclusion: stay with the chicken or anything you can find in the western world. The smell is horrible and the taste equal to the smell!
On the way back to the hotel we storm into a supermarket. For some unknown reason we have a chocolate craving. We eat it on the room until we are nearly sick of it. Sometimes and especially after cow stomach, you have to indulge yourself!