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Old 08-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #31
SS in Vzla.
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SPECTACULAR Photography!

Sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you can continue your journey.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:24 PM   #32
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Day 6: July 31, Guiyang to the Hospital

I slept surprisingly well last night. The pain was subsiding and the feeling was slowing returning to my battered toes. The hospital was the last place I wanted to visit on my vacation and I was trying to put it off as long as possible. The foot was feeling better and I was optimistic about the condition its bones. As the swelling went down the pain in the foot was remaining and I decided to take my rest time to play internet doctor. I looked on many websites trying to figure out how to self-diagnose a broken foot. I read as much as I could, but nothing was encouraging. Basically every site I looked at said I had a 50 – 50 chance of having a broken foot and an even larger chance if I had (like I did) sudden blunt trauma. I decided after lunch to go get an X-ray to find out for sure.

I threw on my crocks and my wife and I headed out the door to find a taxi to take us to the best hospital in Guiyang. If anyone has ever been in a Chinese hospital it is a pretty depressing place. The hospitals seem to care nothing about the patients and nothing about the quality or severity of a patient’s injuries. I could hardly walk and when I arrived in the hospital and asked for a wheelchair, the hospital promptly told me no way. They said if I wanted a wheelchair to move my battered ass around the hospital I would have to leave a 600 RMB deposit to secure the chair. The deposit would be returned to me upon returning the wheelchair, but I didn’t want to go stand in a line at a cashier’s window to get a ticket that would allow me to procure a moving chair, so I decided to walk it out. I can’t even think of what would happen if someone came into the hospital with more severe problems. Even worse was the fact that no one would even look at me before I paid my monies for each individual procedure I needed at the hospital. The hospital registration, have to pay, the booklet they give you for the doctor to scribble in, have to pay. Need an X-ray? Got a broken femur? Can’t walk? Too bad, you’ve got to prepay for everything. You see one doctor in a room with no privacy as he blows cigarette smoke in your face and then he sends you across the hospital to another room. When you arrive at the other room you’re then presented with a bill. You then have to walk back through the hospital to the cashier’s window to obtain a receipt. If you don’t prepay the bill and bring the stamped receipt back to the doctor the hospital will basically ask you to leave. No matter what your problem, if you don’t prepay you don’t get help.

the hospital


the foot


the conversation with the doctor..no chair was offered


the moldy hospital walls


hospital glamor shot


the x-ray machine


getting the picture taken


My wife and I ran through the rigurmrall of the congested, moldy hospital and obtained all the necessary receipts for me to have my foot examined and then X-rayed. After the X-ray we were told to go for a walk and come back in two hours to get the film.
the wonton soup


random Chinese wall


random Chinese family


We went outside and sat down for a bowl of wonton soup. The hours passed and we went back into the hospital to get the film. When we finally picked up the x-ray we were told we would have to go back to the cashier’s window and get another receipt to pay for a doctor to look at the picture. I decided I was done with this hospital and I thought I had seen enough episodes of Doogie Houser M.D. to be able to understand an x-ray. I held the picture up to the light and was surprised to see no cracks, no breaks, no splinters and no ruined vacation. I was happy. A passing orthopedic surgeon noticed what I was doing and asked me in Chinese where I was from. He was impressed that I could answer all of his meaningless questions about my nationality. I asked him what he thought about the x-ray and he confirmed my diagnosis, no broken foot. He told me to rest the foot for a couple of days and that with some medicine I should be fine. I nodded my head and said I’d try my best to stay off of it for the rest of the day. I went back to the hotel and started to plan my route for tomorrow. I was stoked. No broken bones is always good news.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla.
SPECTACULAR Photography!

Sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you can continue your journey.
Thanks, but luckily the foot was broken.
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:53 PM   #34
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As we here in the States struggle with the issue of socialized medicine, how would you rate your experience. Scale 1 to 5. 5 being fantastic! Great ride report, nice work with that camera!
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:05 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by rruugger
As we here in the States struggle with the issue of socialized medicine, how would you rate your experience. Scale 1 to 5. 5 being fantastic! Great ride report, nice work with that camera!
Coming from Canada I would have to rate the hospital as a 1 at best. The only upside to the whole health care thing here is that for us it isn't very expensive. The X-ray cost me about 20 USD. Which isn't a lot for us but it is a lot for most Chinese.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:31 PM   #36
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Fantastic report and beautiful pics, thanks so much for posting!
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:39 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supersignet
Thanks, but luckily the foot was broken.
Did you mean it is not broken?

Excellent write-up and photos.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:08 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwitchThrottle
Did you mean it is not broken?

Excellent write-up and photos.
Yeah, that's what I meant. The foot was NOT broken.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:31 PM   #39
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Good news.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:44 PM   #40
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Day 7: August 1, Guiyang fix the bike and get back on the road


A good days rest left me refreshed and excited to get back on the bike. The good news that came from the x-ray had inspired me to get back on the road and chew up some miles. First, however Iíd have to get a new foot peg and a new exhaust slapped on the bike. My wife hopped on the computer and did her Chinese thing and came up with the location of a motorcycle market in Guiyang. Luckily it was only about a 10 minute ride from our hotel. The Shineray was in serious need of some love. Short a peg and an exhaust I set off. Car alarms were ringing all around me.

The Guiyang Motorcycle market made short work of finding a new set of pegs. I picked up a new set of dual sport pegs for 45 RMB and started looking for an aftermarket exhaust that would fit the bike. Due to the tight spaces under the wheel and rack it proved almost impossible. I ended out shelling out 180 RMB for a muffler that was really too big for the bike. To make the muffler work I had to use a spring riser on either side of the bike. Iím a little worried about these risers. They cost me 30 RMB for the set and they make the bike quite a bit higher. Iím also not too confident in the metal used to make them. Hopefully the Shineray boys will have a new exhaust system waiting for me when I get to Luguhu later in the coming week. Marcusí bike also had an exhaust that was about to fail and he was stuck with the same solution as me. He also bought a new helmet to replace the motorcross style he had been wearing. The girls picked up a new set of gloves and then my wife dropped her helmet breaking the front latch and requiring another trip to the helmet shop to procure yet another helmet. 200RMB for a new helmet and we were back on the road.
The new exhaust install





the new muffler




Marcus' bike waiting for the same treatment




working....kind of...




random Chinese scooter getting tricked out


It had taken almost the whole day to get the exhaust issues worked out and we were leery about being able put any distance between us and Guiyang. We really wanted to get out of Guiyang. It had been a budget breaking two and a half days. Trips to hospitals, expensive hotels and expensive food had soured us on the whole Guiyang experience. We opened the map book and picked a small city about 150km away. We figured we could probably make it there before dark and that we would have better luck finding cheaper accommodations there. We hit the highway and started down the road. The skies were blue and the road was smooth. Flanked by endless sunflower fields on either side it was a nice mind clearing ride. It was just what we all needed after the stress of Guiyang. We arrived in Anshun, our destination for the day and started to look for some cheaper places to stay. It had been an expensive day the exhaust, helmet, pegs and other minor repairs added up to close to 500 RMB and we were hoping to find a room in the 50-70RMB range. Sadly we werenít successful, but we did manage to find a nice clean motel with a real toilet for 149RMB. Itís more than we wanted to spend, but it will do for one night. Tomorrow we will push on Yunnan. Weíre hoping for good weather and safe dayÖ.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:58 PM   #41
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Day 8: The push to Yunnan

We woke up early today with the idea of getting our feet into Yunnan province. We had hoped to get on the road early and had hoped to reach Liupingshui by lunch. We thought the expressway was open to motorcycles and we had been on it the day before. Most expressways in Guizhou do allow bikes so we didnít think anything of it we made our plans and looked over the bikes. My bike had a mildly loose chain and had at sometime yesterday lost 3 of the 4 nuts that were holding my right side box on my bike. We were also approaching the 2000 kilometer mark and we decided it would probably make good sense to get all the problems taken care of early so we could have a trouble free day of riding.


We set off to the nearest motorcycle fixer and asked him to swap the oil in our two bikes, fix my box mount and tighten my chain. One would think this was a pretty easy fix for anyone with any kind of motorcycicular knowledge, but if you thought that youíve probably never been in China. I made the mistake of not standing over the dude with the wrenches and instead decided to grab a snack and have another look at the map. Mr. Wrench was done in no time and we made our way to the expressway exit.


I didnít notice the sign, but Marcus later told me there was a sign saying no bikes allowed on the expressway. Not that it really matters, road signs and traffic signals in China are more of a suggestion than an actual rule. I flew through the toll booth and made my way up the on ramp. We were hoping to make some good time and key to this plan was the distance we could cover on the expressway. About 20km in I stopped for gas and the workers at the filling station were in awe that I was there on a bike. They all kept telling me they couldnít give me any fuel because I was not in a car or a truck and that they werenít allowed to put gas in motorcycles. I told them I was almost out of gas and that if they didnít sell me any Iíd be on the expressway forever and that if the police asked me why I was there I would have told them because I couldnít buy any gas at this gas station. I donít know why it worked, but they filled up my bike and I pulled out of the filling station.


As I was working my way up to crusing speed, I noticed a wave of power loss through the throttle. The bike had power, everything was running, I knew it had gas and a fresh oil change, I started to wonder if I had some bad gas. I figured Iíd ride the bike a while and see if the problem would work itself out. About an hour down the road a big cloud of white smoke burst from my engine and my wife tapped me on the back and said we were losing some kind of something from the engine. I looked down and saw a spray of engine oil coming from the engine. A cloud of oil smoke was rising off the hot engine and I began to worry about what the idiot wrencher had done when I wasnít watching him. I pulled over and had a look at the bike, everything was covered in engine oil. My wifeís leg the swing arm the engine jug, the gearbox, everything. I knew I couldnít leave the bike on the expressway and wait for help so I decided to limp it down the road a kilometer to the next exit.


After sneaking through the toll booth we pulled into the local Suzuki dealer. During the last kilometer I had been thinking a lot about what might have gone wrong. The engine was fine yesterday, I hadnít revíd the piss out of it, it hadnít been leaking oil, there werenít any problems until the visit to the oil changer in the morning. I thought it could only be one thing, the idiot who put the oil in my bike must have put too much oil in my bike and it must have come back up through the crank case breather into the air box. Worst case would be that the extra oil in the sump blew past the piston rings and the resulting blowby is what pushed the oil into the air box and blew the crank case breather hose off the engine block. I was worried.


I set the bike up for the second oil change of the day. When we examined the amount of oil that came out of the engine I was shocked to see that even after the massive oil pissing incident I still had close to 1.8L of oil left inside the engine. This means that the fool at the bike fixer didnít even drain the old oil out of my bike all he did was add another liter of oil to an engine with a 1L capacity. I changed the oil, reatached the crankcase breather and was hoping the rings were ok. The bike started right up and wasn't smoking so I figured there must not be any major damage, but this asshole's mistake did set us back about 2.5 hours. We knew we couldnít get back on the expressway so we started to rethink our plans. We decided that we would take the secenic route through the mountains and stop in Liupingshui for the night.


The ride from oil change number 2 to Liupingshui was nice, but my bike was down on power and I attributed that to suffering from an oil soaked air filter. Sadly the shops in the last town didnít have anything to fit my bike. The mountain road was smooth and full of the oooh and awe scenery we do these bike trips for. We only had 130 km to cover, so we took it easy. We enjoyed the road and views and stopped many times to take some nice photos.
























We arrived in Liupingshui around dinner time, found a place to stay and started to talk about what we want to do tomorrow. Today Yunnan was out of reach, but we were still hoping if the bike holds up, to make it to Luguhu in 3 days.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:17 PM   #42
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I am starting to feel that during any long trip in China, at some point you will have an accident......I have had two trips there, and two accidents......
Your hospital pictures made me laugh. ( Your pain aside of course ! ) China seems intent on throwing up endless amazing high rise buildings in Shanghai, yet the conditions at hospitals even in large cities is really bad. When I smashed my knee, I had gone to the best hospital in Xian, a city of 8 million people. Conditions at the hospital were beyond appalling, I felt like I had entered a set from the Twilight Zone. And like you, no wheel chairs available...
As I was there a long time, at some point I went down to a bathroom that was near to the operating area. As I am taking a piss in a urinal, I hear a water running noise and look down to see piss running on the floor next to my feet. There was no connecting pipe to the urinal...... Then while waiting in the emergency room area, a young girl is brought in on a stretcher and simply dumped in the middle of the emergency room. She has severely hurt her leg. She has lost so much blood, it is actually pooling around her on the plastic stretcher. Yet I watched in astonishment as she laid there for a long time with no care whatsoever. Maybe she had no money......
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:19 PM   #43
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Day 9: August 3, Liupingshui to Huize and into Yunnan

Today looked good. No bike problems from the previous day to fix, no rain, no long distance to cover. We planned for an easy and relaxing ride through the mountains and into Yunnan. Our distance for the day was less than 300km and we thought with good weather it shouldnít take more than five and half hours. We decided the night before to have a late start to the day and planned to get on the road at 10:00am.



At 10:00 we started up the bikes and headed out of Liupingshui. We were excited to get out of Guizhou. We had already spent more time here than we had intended. A smashed foot, botched oil change a pile of other small problems had plagued our exit. Today was looking good with only 140km to the Yunnan border we knew we could make it out today. We also soon realized that this would be the first real test for the Shinerayís might and would be our first real time going into the mountains. I was really looking forward to finally getting on some interesting roads. For the past 8 days the roads had been mundane at best, sure some had some nice things to look at, but most were easy riding and didnít really add enjoyment to the trip. They were more of something that needed to be transversed before the real fun could begin. Today promised to be that fun.


Pulling out of Liupingshui we immediately started our climb into the mountains. It was hard to believe that we were still on any kind of a major road. It was barely wide enough for one truck and in many parts was nothing more than a rutted gravel track. This was just what I wanted. A little bit of interesting roads complete with narrow winding switchbacks and drop offs so high they would give you plenty of time to contemplate your impending doom if you made one small mistake on them. The sides of the roads were marked by nothing except those immense voids of empty space. It was a great way to start the day.




Moving up the mountain the Shineray started to pump out some gray smoke. I started to think the rings were going or close to gone. The crankcase breather hose blew off again and that and the lack of power lead me to think the bike was experiencing some blow by. Luckily it wasnít overly noticeable, sure the bike was sluggish, but it still had the power to pull us and all of our gear up the mountains at a reasonable pace in 3rd, 4th or sometimes even 5th gear. Other 200s I had ridden in this kind of situation were usually stuck somewhere between 2nd or 3rd and that was with only one rider. The Shineray was passing trucks and making its way up the switchbacks at an acceptable pace. Honestly with the amount of gear, poor road conditions and foreseeable engine problems we were faced with I was just happy the little Shineray wasnít dead.


As we got higher and higher the scenery changed and became even more impressive with each passing kilometer. The faces of the people also began to change and we soon realized we were deep in the heart of one of Chinaís Yi minority communities. We stopped by the side of the road to have a snack and take some photos. The people were very gracious and although a little shy, they were happy to share a cookie, a drink and oblige us with a photo. It was nice to hear about their life and nice to meet some different people.



Some local Yi people on their way to market











We pressed on through the mountains and were getting close to Huize and the smoke cloud coming out of my bike was getting larger. I looked down at the engine and it was pissing oil again. I stopped and checked the breather hose and it was off again. I put it back on the engine started the bike up and pushed hard for the last 10km. About one km out of Huize the bike died. The breather hose was off again, oil was everywhere and now the bike wouldnít start. Marcus rode ahead and found us a room for the night. He also helped me find a truck to pull the battered Shineray into town. The truck belonged to a motorcycle shop owner and he was sure he could fix it. I told him what I thought the problem was, but he didnít listen. They stood over the bike for a few hours and said we could have a look at it in the morning. I was exhausted, the foot still hurt and I hadnít eaten anything that day. I just wanted to get into bed and rest. I left my bike at his shop and headed to the hotel.


We would have to see how bad the bike was in the morning. I feared the worst. I thought I would probably need a new engine or at least a rebuild. I guess Iíd just have to wait until tomorrow to see.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:23 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by beemer boy
I am starting to feel that during any long trip in China, at some point you will have an accident......I have had two trips there, and two accidents......
Your hospital pictures made me laugh. ( Your pain aside of course ! ) China seems intent on throwing up endless amazing high rise buildings in Shanghai, yet the conditions at hospitals even in large cities is really bad. When I smashed my knee, I had gone to the best hospital in Xian, a city of 8 million people. Conditions at the hospital were beyond appalling, I felt like I had entered a set from the Twilight Zone. And like you, no wheel chairs available...
As I was there a long time, at some point I went down to a bathroom that was near to the operating area. As I am taking a piss in a urinal, I hear a water running noise and look down to see piss running on the floor next to my feet. There was no connecting pipe to the urinal...... Then while waiting in the emergency room area, a young girl is brought in on a stretcher and simply dumped in the middle of the emergency room. She has severely hurt her leg. She has lost so much blood, it is actually pooling around her on the plastic stretcher. Yet I watched in astonishment as she laid there for a long time with no care whatsoever. Maybe she had no money......
Nothing makes me more angry than hospitals that treat people ATMs. People go to hospitals because they need help, not because they want to. When I'm usually in the hospitals in China the doctors get pretty angry with me when I ask them questions like why don't you help that person. I was actually asked to leave a hospital in Guangzhou because I was complaining about them not giving anyone a wheelchair. My wife had blood poisoning in her foot and a bad infection. No wheelchair no one cared. I was pissed...
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:54 AM   #45
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Fantastic photos, enjoying this ride report greatly, sounds like quite an adventure. Look forward to reading more.
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