PICKING UP TILLY

People had been trickling into the Hotel all week and we would look surreptitiously to see if they had any tell tale rally signs: the trekking pants, trekking shoes, back packs, hunted looks or smelling heavily of petrol but it was sometimes hard to tell.

Then came the  police check, a brief occassion where we were told that green lights meant go and red meant stop, three important tennants were to be followed, concentration, observation and precaution (which were actually quite sensible when watching the taxi drivers negotiating crossing 6 lane highways from the left to the right), and dont drink and drive. We had been told that the buddhist leanings of the Beijing Chinese was responsible for the calm chaos that typified the traffic here.

This meeting was the first time we had met our fellow travellers and we were blown away by the friendly and open people. Everyone was full of anticipation and wanted to get going.

Saturday moring was the big day, time to pick up our babies from day care. We were taken in buses 35kms away to the wrehouses on the outskirts of Beijing. Gunther was up at 6am nervously packing the brake fluid, sorting out the electrical equipment and generally fussing around – packing, unpacking, packing, repacking…..

We could smell the petrol fumes through the bus air conditioning about three kms away from the warehouse. Because our cars were the first on the boat in Melbourne, we were the last out of the warehouse and by the time we got there, it was full of fumes, but not many cars. But therwas Tilly in the last row,looking beauful and she started first go. Good girl!!!

We made it back to the Hotel, very hot and feeling ike celebrities with many people hanging out of windows with thumbs up and taking photos. Tomorrow is the big day and we are excited Kev!!!!!!

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