Detour to the Hospital

Our trip through the back country of Shangri-la turned out to be four days instead of two, due to a landslide and constant big (still) mountains.

First Class Care

First Class Care

Yesterday we took a little detour on our way into Lijaing – to the hospital. We crashed. A combination of a long day, with 1200 more meters of climbing, a patch of water laid down by the cooling water of a truck’s brakes, a little bit of clay, and down we went at about 30kph.

Claire was not responding at first and I got her out of traffic carefully, in case any bones were broken (none). I can’t explain how I felt seeing her, barely moving, having trouble hearing me, or answering to her name.  She finally came around, and I got her sitting upright and talking coherently. I checked her eyes for dilation or wandering, and she could focus and had no double vision (we’ve been through this before).

A motorcyclist helped direct traffic as I dragged Zippy to the edge. I started to search for the first aid kit, and by then Claire was thinking clearly enough to tell me where to find it. Before I could start cleaning her abrasions, a van full of police arrived. My first thought was that we were in even more trouble than the crash aftermath, but they were great. “We take you to hospital,” said with authority, had an amazingly calming effect. They commandeered a small pickup, and loaded Zippy in. We wondered if we’d ever see him again, until we saw one of the policemen get into the truck.

It’s really frustrating having to admit you need help, but when the police came and said “hospital” I knew we probably should go, even though it meant transporting Zippy some other way, struggling to communicate with doctors or nurses, arriving in an unfamiliar town not under your own power, and worst of all, losing your bearings.

Since I’d lost a minute or two, I had a lot of questions for Bob and it took me a while to come out of the fog that makes you think you’re having a bad dream. I remember knowing we were going down, but that’s all.

At the hospital, we had our scrapes swabbed. They thought my nose might be broken, but I think my glasses just gouged it. I took the hit evenly between shoulder and hip. Bob got it pretty bad on the knee, but it hasn’t swollen. Bob noticed the doctor watching me for signs of brain trauma, and from previous experience, he knew to wake me in the middle of the night to make sure I knew who and where I was. We’re both a little stiff and sore today, so we’ll take an extra day in our three star hotel. (Total hospital bill: $6)

We’ll post our days in the back country soon. Beautiful…

With this sign would have been before that curve!

Wisn this sign had been before that curve!


Detour to the Hospital — 9 Comments

  1. What an adventure! We are all following your progress very closely. Accidents like this are, we suppose, part of the price you pay for riding such distances on heavily traveled and less than perfect roadways. We know you both wear riding helmets and gloves – and we bet you are glad that you do after this little incident. Take a couple of days to rest up and get strong again. It is very reassuring to know that the local authorities acted so professionally to get you transported to a nearby hospital. Please thank them for us for taking such good care of you guys.

  2. Your latest episode was a bit scary for us to read about. However, I am sure our fears were not nearly as bad as what initially went through your minds. And, we are so pleased that it appears to be only a minor mishap and we wish you good healing and lots of well-deserved good fortunate as you continue your epic journey.
    Love you guys and best wishes for SAFE travels,
    Dick & Helen

  3. Thanks guys. We’re sore but mending with the help of lots of good Chinese food. Claire needs a new helmet as soon as we can find one, hers is cracked; it did it’s job. She just finished an article for Desert Leaf, so I know she’s okay. The city is beautiful with a wonderful old town of ancient architecture, laced with canals.

    We have wi fi (slow) for a day and hope to get some work done before we head south. Wait until you see Tiger Leaping Gorge and the Shangri-la back country where we spent the last four days.

    Bob and Claire

  4. Bob and Claire – we’re glad to hear the injuries are not too bad and that you’ll be able to follow your journey. We enjoy following you along the way and you are in our thoughts.
    – The Waalkes Family.

  5. Bob and Clare,
    That must have been scary for you both, and I am glad you had such great help when you needed it. May your bruises heal quickly so you can go on your way. Still praying for you and will continue to do so!!
    Bonnie Stone Russell \o/

  6. Wow Bob….that was scary to read….I am so thankful that you both are OK….we are enjoying following you and Claire….take it slow and let all the bruises heal…we will wait on you… safe…Nancy

  7. Of course, I worry about you two but I was really concerned about Lucky but I think I see him in the photo of Zippy in the hotel. Take good care of him. Love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *