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宁夏:The Peaceful Xia Kingdom

(2010-09-28 12:24:07)
标签:

鄂尔多斯

棋盘井

宁夏

silk

road

ningxia

motorcycle

Day 5 Sept. 22 Erdos – Qipanjing via Rongwu Expressway 鄂尔多斯 棋盘井,经荣乌高速

The Iron Bull is a four/five-star hotel and the breakfast is a western and Chinese smorgasbord. Neil is cheery after having his first real coffee in a week.

铁牛大酒店应该是个五星级的酒店。早餐是中西自助餐。Neil 兴高采烈地享受了他一个星期以来第一杯咖啡。

Earlier I got up and researched on places to get our bikes serviced. However, most shops listed on Google map have been replaced by car-related services. We find one an hour after leaving the hotel. Traffic in Erdus is as bad as any other town in China. Roads are overburdened by the surge in the number of new vehicles.

早晨我起来时在网上搜了一下摩托车维修点。但大多数谷歌地图上的店都被和汽车有关的店代替了。离开酒店后我们转了一圈打听后才找到了一间。鄂尔多斯的路况和中国其它城市一样糟糕。道路被新车拥的疲惫不堪。

There is one tiny store that does mainly wholesale but has enough parts and a decent selection of engine oil. The shop owner recommends the best engine oil made by Shell. In fact the engine does sound quieter after the oil change. The mechanic tightened my chain and we take time to ensure the drive train is thoroughly lubed.

好不容易找到的这间店的店主说他主要批发,但他也有些可观的机油和零件选择。他说最好的机油是壳牌的,一百多块一升。果然换了油后机器的声音小了很多。修理工帮我把车链子紧了紧,上了油。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

Just after noon, we finally get out of the bustling Dongsheng district. At the toll booths, I lean my bike hard to the right so the end of the bar doesn’t hit my mirror. As soon as I get through I rev up the engine and jump on the highway, afraid some uniformed booth operator is going to run out and tell me off. Neil and Cameron follow closely behind, Soon we are on a beautiful stretch of highway heading towards Wuhai. Landscape becomes flatter and flatter. We are on the Inner Mongolia Plateau!

搞了一上午,我们终于离开了繁忙的东胜区。在接近高速收费亭时,我把车用劲向右倾,这样挡路杆不会碰到我的反光镜。过去后我马上加油门跳上了高速,担心穿制服的工作人员会跑出来阻拦。Neil 和 Cameron 紧随我后。转过弯后我们就在一马平坡的高速上驶向乌海。地势变得越来越平坦。我们到达了内蒙古平原!

The sun beams down on us. The air is clean and gentle. Low-lying bushes dot yellow and grey fields. I keep the machine humming at about 85 kilometers an hour. A block of weed tumbles onto my lane from below the expressway. I have no time to avoid so I aim straight at it. The tires cut it into halves like a knife.

灿烂的九月阳光洒在我们身上。空气清洁又柔和。一团团的低的灌木点缀着黄灰色的原野。我把时速控制在85公里。一团滚草被风吹上了公路。我来不及躲闪,就把前轮对准了草的中央。轮胎把滚草象用刀一样切成了两半。

Wuhai lies about 200 kilometers to the west of Erdos. There is little traffic on this still- lesser known expressway. At around a bend over a hill, I look back and see Neil but Cameron has just dropped out of sight. I slow down and pull to the side where I make sure vehicles behind us can spot us from a distance. Neil overtakes me and stops on the shoulder as well. We wait a few minutes and Cameron is nowhere in sight. ``He was right behind me then I just lost sight of him," Neil says. My gut begins to wrench and I turn the bike around. “Are you going back?” Neil asks. “Yes, you can stay here,” I say, and turn the accelerator. As I drive up the hill I keep looking beyond the guard rail for something unimaginable. In my head countless images appear and none of it is pleasant given the strange scenario. Cameron is only just seconds behind me. For him to suddenly drops out of sight with no signals is unusual.

乌海在鄂尔多斯西边200公里。这条新建的高速上还不见太多的车。过了一个拐角下坡的时候,我超过几辆卡车,在反光镜里看到Neil,但 Cameron 却不见了。我减速,找到一个我认为后边车能从远距离看到我的地段,打灯在路边靠停。Neil 超过我后也在路边停了下来。我们等了几分钟后 Cameron 还是不见。“他就在我身后,但突然就不见了,”Neil 说。我心里有种不祥的感觉,把车启动后掉头顺着路边往后走。“你要回去?”Neil 问。“对,你先在这等等,”我说,开始提速。车上坡的时候我不停地向路边的沟里看。我想出了几种不同的现象,没有一个是乐观的。给自己做好最坏的准备。Cameron 离我只有几秒种的时间,这样徒然不见很不好解释。

Cameron is standing next to his bike. I feel an instant relief. He says he suddenly hears screeching sound coming from the front of his bike. I kill the engine and hear the same.

Cameron 站在车的旁边。我如适重负。他说他听到车子前边发出撕裂的声音。 我把我的发动机熄火后,他骑上车往前开了几米后我也听到磨擦的噪音。

As we are on a narrow shoulder of a bridge, we decide to drive slowly further to where Neil and I had pulled over. Cameron runs his bike forward and back while listening for the source of the noise. It turns out the inside of the front wheel cover of his bike is filled with clay and as the clay dries it become as hard as brick, enough to cut the surface of his tire. There is also mud inside his front disk brake which is causing the screech.

我们把车缓缓骑离这个窄窄的桥,在下坡和Neil汇合。前后走动几次后我们发现他的车前轮挡泥板下边聚满了黄泥。这黄泥肯定是来自昨天那段路上。洗车的时候 Cameron 忽略了。今天天一暖,一干,泥巴变得和砖一样硬,硬的能在他轮胎上割出一条和指甲尖一样深的口子。有些泥巴进入了他的前轮碟式刹轧,也使车走时更费油。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

We resume our ride after we helped Cameron get his bike cleaned up. Dusk is falling and we are glad to be arriving at a town called Qipanjing 棋盘井, literally coal mines scattered like a chessboard. We check into a hotel called Golden Century 金世纪,at the recommendation of a taxi driver.

我们帮助Cameron把泥巴用水洗掉后继续往西走。夜幕开始落了,我们庆幸正好走到了一个叫棋盘井的镇。当地盛产煤,可能就是说煤井象棋子一样洒落周围。我问了一个出租司机,他建议我们住一个名叫金世纪的旅馆。

Neil gets his first Chinese hot pot dinner at a place called Haohaoshuan 好好涮, or do your hotpot right。The owner, Boss Han, 36, is as hospitable as Boss Ni from Clearwater River. As soon as we sit down in his packed popular lamb hotpot eatery, he comes over with Changyu red wine and pours each of us a teacup full. “Welcome to my restaurant!” he says, raising his own cup. We stand up and raise the cups as well, “thank you for your hospitality!” We shoot back the wine. “Please sit,’’ he says, then tells a waitress to bring a plate of fruit and moon cakes.

我带两个朋友去一个叫好好涮的火锅店。Neil是第一次吃火锅。老板姓韩,36岁,和清水河的倪老板同样好客。我们进了他的攘闹的涮羊肉店里,服务员优先给我们找了个桌。刚坐下韩老板就提了一瓶张裕干红过来给我们每人涨上了一茶杯。“欢迎到我店里来!”韩老板举起杯子说。我们也站起来把杯举起,“谢谢您的招待!”我说,四个人一口把酒干了。“请坐,”韩老板示意,指挥一个女服务生给我们端来一大盘水果和月饼。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

-- Boss Han shows us how the V is done. 韩老板给我们示意如何打双V

Our dinner consists of various cuts of lamb, beef, green vegetables, tofu and mushrooms. The three of us down a 500 ml bottle of Baijiu, a Chinese strong liquor, then each has a 750-ml bottle of beer. “I’m hammered man,” Neil murmurs again and again. Boss Han makes two more visits, each of which he makes a toast. We grow tipsy and Boss Han also starts to slur. “I have to go get something done,” he says. “I’m so happy. You are the first foreign guests to have visited my restaurant.”

晚餐是不同的羊肉,牛肉,青菜,豆腐和菌。我们三人一起喝了一斤白酒,每人又喝了一瓶啤酒,再加上几杯干红。“伙计我不行了,”Neil一遍遍地念叨。韩老板又过来了两趟,每一次我们干一杯。我们开始觉得飘飘然,而韩老板说话也有些口吃,“我先出去一躺办点事,”他说。“我非常高兴:你们是我们店接待的第一批外国客人。”

A full Chinese feast is usually followed by Karaoke. I take my two Canadian friends out on the miners’ town looking for a KTV club. The taxi driver says a classy place costs about 700 yuan per person. We decline and ask for something cheaper. He smiles and says “no.” We decide to venture on our own and drop in a place with a small red neon sign. Three girls who don’t look more than 20 greet us in the darkly lit hallway. “Heavens! Foreigners!” one girl screams at the sight of Neil and Cam entering the darkly lit squalid building. We pass a room filled with a large bed and an old cotton quilt with a sight and odor that remind me of the truck stop where we stay the night before. The adjacent room has a large cathode ray television.

一顿丰盛的中菜晚宴也应该顺带唱歌。 我带着两个加拿大朋友在煤矿镇上找好的KTV.问了一个出租司机,说一个上档次的地方得每人700块的消费。我们说太贵了要找个便宜点的。司机笑了笑说没有。我们决定自己出去找找,进了一个外边带红色霓虹灯的小店。一进黑暗暗的门三个不到二十岁的小妹们接待我们。“老天爷!外国人!”一个小妹情不自禁地喊了一生。我们走过了一个房间,里面放了一个大床和旧棉被。刺鼻的味道和凌乱的场面使我想起了前天晚上我们呆的那间卡车住宿吃饭店。小妹把我们带到了一个房间,里面是个大的老式电视。

“So where are the hostesses?” I ask the question because normally in Chinese KTV, the guests are presented with a team of hostesses to be chosen as a man’s entertainment companion. She pours the man drinks and peels him fruit, and orders him his favorite karaoke songs.

“小姐们呢?”我问。在中国到卡拉OK吧的宾客往往会给一群女生选择作为娱乐的伴侣。她们给宾客倒酒切水果,挑选他们喜欢唱的歌曲。

“That would be us, 1-2-3,” one girl answers, gesturing at the third girl who is still attending the front desk. I begin to have a bad feeling about the arrangement, so I lead Neil and Cameron out of the place. I’m sure the girls are just as relieved as us while we make a quick exit onto the street. We decide to have an early night of sleep.

“我们就是:1-2-3,”和我们站在一起的一个小妹说,说3的时候指向一个还在前台的女孩。我觉得不对头,又怕黑灯瞎火被人宰了,带着两个朋友跑了出去。那三个服务生看我们走了也是如释重负。我们打消了娱乐念头,回去早睡。

Day 6, Sept. 23,  Qipanjing 棋盘井- Yinchuan 银川 via Jingzang Expressway 京藏高速

We finish a quick breakfast of rice congee and pastry, fuel up and head for Yinchuan via Wuhai on the G109. Coal trucks provide us with a good practice of passing skills.

我们简单喝了碗粥,吃了几块点心,加满油顺着109国道往银川走。一路上一辆辆的拉煤车不断。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

At Pingluo, a sign tells us G109 is again closed for construction and motorists are advised to use the Jingzang Expressway. By now we are quite comfortable at breaking the law. I usually wait for Neil and Cameron to catch up, that way we’d be able to clear the toll gates together, leaving little time for the operators to run out and stop us.

经过平罗的时候,我们看到一个大的路牌说109国道全面封停整修,建议车辆走京藏高速。走到这了我们对违法上高速已经是驾轻就熟。接近收费亭的时候我慢下来等Neil和Cam追上来。管理人员没时间反应我们三辆车就一起冲上了高速。

Earlier I had called Qiu Kai 仇凯,a friend of my Beijing mechanic Pang Yong 胖勇,or fat Yong. Qiu runs a motorcycle accessory shop in Yinchuan. I explained to Qiu that we wanted our bikes to  be tuned up. We exit the expressway through Yinchuan North. As we approach the toll booth, I make a mistake of picking a gate with double bars, the first bar long enough to cover the entire exit. Before we are able to back out and try another gate, a mid-aged uniformed man comes out cursing. Neil is in front of me. He takes the key out of Neil’s bike with force, comes to me and rips the key out of my hand. All three keys collected, he goes inside a booth and closes the door. We look at each other in the eye and agree if we can't get out of the trouble we'd use our spare keys to escape. A young man with glasses appears and he too is angry but talking. “Move your bikes forward and park them to the side,” he directs us. Neil looks at me and grins. I run several options in my head: makes off with our spare key, offer to pay a fine, pretend I don’t speak Chinese. “Just please don’t let this be the end of our trip!” I pray.

早上出发之前我给一个叫仇凯的朋友打了个电话。仇凯在宁夏做摩托车配件批发零售,在离109国道不远的新华路上有间店叫凯旋。(他弟弟名字是仇旋。)仇凯是我一个北京朋友胖勇介绍的。胖勇是北京旗利车行维修部的经理。几年前曾经走过我们的路线。我在电话里和仇凯解释了我们车需要做保养维修。我们从银川北沿高速下来了。靠近收费亭的时候,我判断错误,驶向的亭子装了两道横竿。第一个竿把整个口都挡住了。我们没来得及后退试另外的口之前,一个穿着制服的中年人就一边骂一边跑了出来。Neil走在我前边,穿制服的先把钥匙从他的车上揪了下来,又到我车前把我的也收了。三把都取去了后,他回到自己的收费亭把门关上了。我们互相看了一眼,默许如果真有麻烦了我们就用备用钥匙,开车跑吧。这时候一个戴着眼镜的年轻人出来了。他表情也很不好,但还是有礼貌的和我们说话。“把你们的车开到一边。”我想了几个不同的应付办法:开车跑掉,交罚款,假装自己不说中国话。“只要别让整个旅行计划泡汤就行!”

Minutes later, the young man appears again and asks me where we got on the highway and how. I say we did it 40 kilometers back at the advice of the locals and the road sign. “No bikes are allowed on expressway!” he says, “It’s very dangerous.” “We didn’t know,” I reply, “besides the locals all tell us to do it, even signs on G109 advises us the same.” The young man walks back into the toll booths. When he appears, he’s handing out keys to each of us. “We’ll let you go this time, but please don’t get on expressways again, it’s very dangerous,” he says and smiles. We thank him and ride off.

过了几分钟后,那个年轻人又出来了,问我们从哪上的高速,为什么违法走高速。我说从北边四十公里。“摩托车不准上高速,”他说。“非常危险!”“我们不知道,”我说,“当地人都说只有高速才能走车,而且109国道上边有路标,说全面封闭,建议绕走京藏高速。”我说的是实情。年轻人走回了他的收费亭。又等了一阵子,他出来了,开始把钥匙分给我们。“这次让你们走吧。别再上高速了,很危险。”他说了后笑了笑,又看了一眼我们的装备。我们谢了谢他,开车走了。

In fact, our experience proves otherwise. The behaviours of drivers on expressways are much more rational and predictable. They try to observe signs and signal when passing, in most cases. Highway drivers are of a different breed. A two-lane highway with shoulders is often used as a five-lane one. Signals are exceptional and farmers are particularly oblivious to traffic rules.

我们的经验和年轻人说的相反。高速上司机的行为往往更理智和可以预测。他们一般都注意交通标示,超车的时候还打信号灯。一般公路上的司机似乎是两个不同种系的。一个有两个同一方向车道的公路上往往有五辆车并排行驶。打灯很少见,农民更是对交通规则完全无意识。

Qiu Kai,two feet dangling off a Honda scooter, meets us at the street corner near his shop, Kai Xuan Motorcycle Parts and Accessories, run by Kai and his brother Xuan. Kai Xuan in Chinese means victorious.

我们在路边碰到了骑着本田踏板的双脚着地的仇凯。他带我们到了凯旋摩托车配件店。

Chinese friendship is overwhelming. I barely know Fat Yong, and I get a feeling Kai doesn’t know him that close either, but he makes a whole afternoon of arrangements for me: finding a hotel, taking us to lunch, ordering us parts, leading us to a mechanic who performs the tune-ups, and reserves a table at a Hunan and Hubei restaurant for dinner.

中国人的朋友交情往往不可抗拒。我和胖勇认识不久,而仇凯说他和胖勇也有段时间没联系了,但他特意将一个下午的时间花在我们身上:找宾馆,吃午餐,帮我们找摩托车配件,找个他认识的技师帮我们检测换机油,还在一个湘鄂餐馆预订了晚上吃饭。

Xiao Niu is the mechanic. A very thin man in his early 20’s, he is the classical bike geek: he tinkers with all types of vehicles: a BMW 900 off-road, a Chinese dual sport bike, a Chinese made scooter and a host of other vehicles that are vastly different from each other. Xiao Niu, or little bull (Niu is his last name) walks around with a screwdriver and a few wrenches, tinkers the scooter, checks my engine, air filter and spark plugs, talks on the phone, looks at Neil and Cam’s bikes.

我们的技师叫小牛。他今年二十多岁,瘦削的外表,他是个典型的车迷:所有的车他都查修:一辆宝马900的越野车,一架国产的两用车,国产的踏板以及其他一堆看起来毫无类似的车。小牛手拿一把螺丝刀和几把扳手,动动踏板,查查我的车发动机,空气过滤芯和火花塞,在手机上说几句话,又看看Neil和Cameron的车。

We spend nearly three hours at Xiao Niu’s Motorcycle Repair, and our bikes are mechanically sound again. Kai has a talk with Xiao Niu, who then charges us 50 yuan for changing oil and tune-up.

我们在小牛摩托车维修店转悠了一共三个小时后,终于把车维修好了。仇凯和他商量了下价格,连换机油手工和保养,他每个车收了五十块。

At the dinner, I thank Kai whole-heartily. Kai loves to drink, so each of us downs a few bottles of Yinchuan beer. I ask Cam to pay for the bill before Kai gets to it. When Kai finds out he who is usually mild and expressionless, is visibly upset. “Ok, you don’t need to pay for the oil then. You shouldn’t have done it,” he says, referring to that we paid for the meal. “It’s not right.”

吃晚饭的时候,我衷心谢了仇凯。他比较喜欢喝酒,我们每个人喝了几瓶银川啤酒。我低声嘱咐Cam出去把帐结了。他知道之后,原来平静的面色变得很难看。“好吧,机油的钱你就别付了。你这么做是不对的。”

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

Day 7, Sept. 24 Yinchuan 银川 Zhongwei 中卫

We spend the entire morning washing our bikes using powered brushes in a courtyard behind Kai’s shop. Our bikes look new again and we are happy and confident once more.

今天一早我们就起来在仇凯店的后院用把强力刷子把车洗的干干净净。我们的心情也敞亮,对目的地踌躇满志。

 

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

 Kai refuses to accept money from me, “I’ll see you in Beijing.” “Be sure to call me and let me treat you,” I shake his hand and bid him farewell.

 仇凯再一次拒绝接受钱。“北京见,”他说。“好,到北京一定说声!”我和他握手告别。

We make a quick and rare stop to visit the Xi Xia, western Xia Mausoleum, an archeological site of Xi Xia, a kingdom in and around today’s Ningxia which lasted a few hundred years before being “obliterated” by the Mongolian empire led by the Khangis Khan.  The province Ningxia means Peaceful Xia. But given its strategic location: sandwiched between central China and the western powers, Xi Xia was a buffer zone, and a subject kingdom of imperial China.

出银川往西有个西夏国的纪念馆,建立在一西夏遗迹上。西夏国地处今天的宁夏,长达几百年历史,后来被成吉斯汗的蒙古帝国灭掉了。宁夏是中原和西域诸国的缓冲地区,是古代中国的一个附属国。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

 

We jump back on the highway heading toward Zhongwei. At the village Shimiao 施庙,a cloud of steam and odor rises from a plant and overwhelms us. We look at each other and wonder the same question: what is this horrible thing? We talk to a few young children and find out it’s a paper maker. From talking to an older man who strolls over to check out our bikes, I gather the town was not happy with the pollution but was silenced because the factory agreed to provide the village with drinking water.

我们回到公路驶向中卫。在近中卫的一个小村庄,我们闻到一股刺鼻的味道,看到滚滚的浓烟从一个工厂的烟囱里冒出来。我们心里都在想,这是个什么怪物?和几个村上的小朋友们谈了一段话后,我们知道是个造纸厂。一位大叔后来又告诉我们村里人也反对这个污染严重的工厂,但由于工厂同意给当地人提供供水设施,村里人也不得不将就。

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

宁夏:The <wbr>Peaceful <wbr>Xia <wbr>Kingdom

-- Neil's new love in Zhongwei, Gansu Neil 又迷上了当地的一个小妹。


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