Cold Water

One last snippet on the Limi Road. After delivering its load, the first truck that had ever arrived in the village of Tsang got stuck in the river on the way back. Help was called from Tugling where a second truck was stationed, waiting for diesel and a driver. A dozen men came to help. For hours they were trying to push and pull the vehicle out, standing knee-deep in the ice-cold water.

People knew the rivers and fords very well, but there was an obvious lack of experience with trucks. This was all new and everything had to be learned from scratch. The limitations of the two-wheel drive Dong Feng had to be tested, mechanical knowledge had yet to be gained. Tibetan drivers and mechanics were not allowed to work in the valley. Drivers had thus to be brought in from the the lowlands of Nepal. Not many agreed to work in Limi, and those who did had little experience with the Chinese trucks as well.

Despite all efforts, the truck did not move. At one point, the hook used to fix the steel rope broke off, but they continued pushing and pulling until dusk. “It is too dark now”, they finally said. “We will come back tomorrow”.

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