To the last leg of my Silk Road Adventure on the China part.
11.08.2012 - 02.09.2012
Hetian - Urumqi, August 25th - 26th 2012
CZ6684 U SA25AUG HTNURC Hetian-Urumqi 1835 2010
We have checked all the flights and find that there is another new schedule available for you:
CZ6820 U SA25AUG HTNURC Hetian-Urumqi 2305 0045+1
Please let us know if the new schedule is suitable for your travel plan by replying this email.
If not, you could apply for a full refund of your ticket.
Less than 24 hours beforehand, China Southern Airlines informed that to me. As usual when CSA changes schedules, a full refund is offered. However, being informed in this very last minute, I'm left with no choice but accept the substitute flight.
Considering to touch down on Urumqi at 20:10, I had planned to take a late night walk in Urumqi. Wooshh gone is that plan. Even at 20:10 I won't yet be on the plane!
Dark... dark... China Southern Airlines, why do you always change schedules?
Free snack. Better than Air Asia, anyway.
To add to the delay, Urumqi Airport held a complicated baggage check out. On the screens above each of the 4 conveyor belts, my flight number was not listed. Hence I was confused where to pick up my baggage. And then I heard a lady officer announcing (in Mandarin) through a megaphone that my flight's baggage was to be delivered on conveyor belt number 4. I stood there for several minutes, but my baggage was not to be seen. Ah, I must have misunderstood, I blamed myself.
I showed my boarding pass to another officer standing nearby and asked her. She pointed to belt number 4. Oh, maybe I just have to be more patient, I said to myself. But... nothing.
And then I heard the megaphone again. The officer now was moving her arm to the left which was towards belt number 1. A group of people from belt number 4 rushed to the left side. I followed. I recognized some of them were on the same flight as mine.
At conveyor belt number 1 I waited. The conveyor belt rolled on, but time seemed to stand still. My baggage was still no where to be seen.
Suddenly I heard the lady officer with a megaphone shouting while moving her arm to the right. Phew. To make a long story short, I was ping-pong-ed from belt number 4 to 1 to 4 and to 1 again. The only thing that made me relief was the confused look on fellow passengers. That assured me that it wasn't me that was misunderstanding.
"I'm sorry for causing you trouble," I apologized.
"No problem. That's not your fault."
Although the fare Cory required this time was rather expensive, I was grateful anyway that I had someone ready to pick me up in the middle of the night like this. I arrived at my hotel about 2 o'clock in the morning. Taking a bus would have been out of question. A taxi is also doubted. In the end, in this world, for everything there is a price. Later on, I learned how much price I was indebted.
The car was a luxurious one, a total opposite to my previous hired cars from Cory. But the driver was as kind and as caring as my driver in Turpan. I'm thankful to have him as my driver. Early the next morning, before eight, he was already at my hotel, ready to bring me to Tianchi Scenic Area. That means, more pictures to come!