On our way…. finally

Finally we’re on our way. After some extremely frustrating, stressful but in the end very good weeks – which we will describe in a later post – we left Shanghai early this morning for our first leg. We slept the last night in Shanghai at a friend’s place on the outskirts of Shanghai where there was plenty of room for us to organize and pack the car the day before we left.

After a good night sleep we met our mandatory guide for the first time at about 8.15 AM. Yoyo is a friendly 25-year old Chinese who indeed fits perfect in the back of our car. Although we still have no idea why we have to have a guide in our car, we could have been worse off, we feel. Yoyo seems to understand our position and doesn’t try to sell us anything or talk unnecessary. In fact she’s very helpful and doesn’t complain at all and is always cheerful.

That came in handy when after only about 200 kilometers of driving a warning light turned on on our dashboard. Soon after smoke started to appear from under the hood, so we had to pull over the car at the highway. Luckily we were very close to a service area, where Yoyo immediately ran to and after 20 minutes or so appeared again in a mechanics car on the highway from the other side. We were flabbergasted by such quick action.

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We managed to start our car again and drove carefully to the garage at the service area. It turned out the lid on the radiator was broken which caused another lid to loosen where all the coolant escaped after which the radiator overheated. Everything was quickly fixed while we were having lunch, so we didn’t lose much time.

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But it seems not everything is still 100% okay, since we now think our airconditioning system is broken and might have caused some of the problems. So we try to get that fixed in Beijing, before we head into the Gobi-desert later in the week. Already temperatures here in the north are above 30 grades Celsius.

Luckily, despite the problems today, we arrived at our desired first stop: Tai’an, a little over half way to Beijing. The hotel we’re staying in is just off the Highway and very large and new but without any guests. I think we’re the first guests in the room we’re staying, so I’m amazed  that the water from the shower is going everywhere except down. How in earth do these things keep happening in China?

Anyway, we’re tired, but very relieved that after driving 770 kilometers today we’re in our hotel. The first day was very eventful and we attracted a lot of attention from curious Chinese, a lot of whom who wanted their picture taken with our car and sometimes with us as well. It confirms to us how special it is to drive with a Dutch licensed car in China. The local police and toll booth operators also sometimes seem to struggle what to do with us, but so far, we have not been bothered that much. The drive itself was a bit boring since there was not much to see along the G2, the express way to Beijing.

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Tomorrow we drive to Beijing, where we will stay two nights and visit the garage again, before heading to the border with Mongolia.

8 Responses to On our way…. finally

  1. ingrid

    Wat een pech! Hopelijk nu verder alles goed!

  2. Nico en May

    Kleine futiliteiten blijf je houden!! Laat jullie niet uit het veld slaan! Groetjes!!

  3. Astrid

    Mooi om te lezen en zo herkenbaar na een paar jaren in Beijing. Er gebeuren altijd hilarische dingen vanuit onverwachte hoek …. die maken vrolijke herinneringen voor later ook al kunnen ze irritant zijn op het moment. Ik blijf jullie met interesse volgen… goede reis!!!!!

  4. Marie Anne

    Het zal bij jullie ook eens in 1 keer goed gaan..!! Nou ja als de rest maar goed gaat. Leuk eerste verslag, ik kijk nu al uit naar het volgende verslag. Succes, succes. Grtz uit Aerdenhout

  5. Kim

    Door je artikel in het FD van dit weekend heb ik jullie website gelijk als favoriet opgeslagen. Jullie reis is een stille wens voor mij, die wellicht ooit eens uitkomt. Maar eerst eens jullie trip volgen op jullie fantastische site !
    Succes met alles wat je letterlijk en figuurlijk tegenkomt!
    PS blijf fotograferen, want de sfeer wordt heel goed weergegeven !

  6. KC

    Have a safe journey back to NL. With the journey you may get more typical events to report.
    About six years ago with the Olympics there were a group of about 10 cars driving from NL to Beijng.
    You are driving the opposite direction.

  7. Marco

    Cool avontuur! Hopelijk wordt jullie auto in de loop van de tijd wel betrouwbaarder. Hoe vaak komt er een post & kan ik me aanmelden dat ik deze direct ontvang? Ik ben razend benieuwd om te horen wat jullie allemaal mee gaan maken.

  8. Dirk Jan

    Goed laatste stuk Bert “China houdt nog altijd de luiken dicht”. Een hele geode reis toegewenst en veel succes!

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