The Adventures of Gimpy Girl

A journal of the trials and triumphs of another trip to unexplored territory.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Joys of Travel

After a late night flight into Wuhan and a bus ride to Yichang we finally arrived at the cruise ship. It had been an epic day of travel. Our plane was delayed which was lucky because our experience at the airport was anything but smooth. When I arrived on my scooter, ready to board as I have dozens of times, the airline looked at me as though I had just arrived riding a Harley. All the convincing our guide gave them in didn't seem to make a difference but eventually he got them to aggree if I took off all of my batteries and wrapped them up separately. I thought Patrik, our guide was going to have a nervous breakdown but we all made it to the gate in time and I even managed to get a bulkhead seat so I could sleep as much as possible. Of course it wasn't long after take-off that they were serving some kind of meal and ruining my chances of good sleep. The airport in Wuhan was something from around fifties, with alot of the very dated space age architecture that was like an old bachelor pad that hadn't been touched since about the same era. The help arrived quickly with the wheelchair and whisked me off to an elevator that didn't seem to work. Larry was ready to take me down the stairs and I wasn't feeling at all in shape for this, but at the last minute it miraculously started to function again. We got in and rode this little rocket down to the first floor. By the time we got to baggage I decided I better use the restroom before getting on another bus. This turned out to be a big mistake. The attendant wheeled me into a dimly-lit wretched smelling room. I spied all the porcelen holes behind half-height doors with the sound of running water echoing throughout the room. She wheeled me to the western style toilet. I ventured in and lowered myself down to a resounding splash! I screamed and melted into an ugly American. With no toilet paper in sight, she wheeled me back out and I got onto the bus with a wet ass.

Just before midnight we arrived at the ship. I had slept most of the bus ride and was roused up with discussions on how I was going to get down to the ship. It was decided that we would pay the porters to carry me down in my wheelchair. So down I went carried like royalty to the ship on what looked like a mountain of stairs. My scooter was carried in pieces and stored separately on the ship. Up one more flight of stairs to our room.

Despite the staircase access to any other part of the ship, the cruise felt like the most accessible part of the trip. Here I floated through the beautiful scenery which could be enjoyed by simply stepping out onto my balcony. The help was everywhere when I needed it and often I was carried up or down the staircase. The schedule became much more relaxed and we could spend much of the day doing what we wanted or just resting (which I did often). One of my favorite places on the boat was at the very top. I could sit up there and watch everything float by at 360 degrees.


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