Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Total Solar Eclipse - 住/Accomodations

Somehow I shall say, we're all very surprised when we see these tents! It's exactly the same one as we can see in the news for disaster relief. I was assigned to number 75.

This is a VIP grade tent, originally they said it's of those Mongolian style, but it ended up like this. These tents are very big, you have four very big beds inside, when I said it's big, I mean they're at least enough for two persons to sleep very comfortably.

We have a power bar inside so that you can charge up your batteries, I guess it's the single most important feature. The bed is clean, I would say.

Inside the tent, we got a lot of room for storing equipments. My friend actually placed his mount inside my tent since the sky was a little bit darker near my tent.

Inside the tent, we got a single light bulb, but it's very bright enough for this kind of sky.
The Hong Kong Astronomical Society did bring something to show our areas, we have some flashing light (light pollution?!) at night too. The tent has extensive lighting, and they won't even switch it off during the night. A big enemy for stargazers, but then the clear dark sky is not too much affected, you can still see the milkyway and so many other deep sky objects clearly with unaided eyes. The only problem is that, you can never got really dark adapted under this kind of situation.

Worst yet, the lighting is not very well designed. I would say without them, I can see the roads, but with the light flooding into your eyes, you cannot really see clearly when you're walking toward the lighting.

You got to find something interesting to shoot during the day. Actually, this kind of tent is very comfortable with the local weather at night. Gentle wind is shielded very effectively, if you were to sleep outside, it could be pretty cold combined with around 12 degree celcius ambient temperature.

However, the colouration plus the materials for building up these tents are not good during day time. When the sun comes out, you immediately know! Light can leak from any places, and the intense heat can really built up fairly quickly. People measured that it's well over 40 degrees Celcius.

So the best way is to sit outside the tent under its shadow, with some very gentle wind, it can then become a bit more comfortable. But if you step inside the tent door, even with the door wide open, you feel the heat inside.

Don't get me wrong, I should have said those were curtains but not door. There is no door, no lock, and nothing. You risk putting your equipments there unattended, but somehow you really have no choice.

Some hard working guys decided to take chance to try out the equipments, but I dare to keep my energy for the real moments.

There are some trees around, but they won't affect the eclipse viewing. I never tried my setup on the sun those days, since I know it's not hard at all, and worst yet, you cannot do anything even if there's anything missing, you really even can't buy a screw there.

Actually, I love this approach the most. Even to make the filter during the wait.

We spents two night there, there's plenty of water supply, I mean you have several long arrays of tapes. But there's no bath room. Gentlemen and ladies were cleaning themselves in front of those tapes by their own means, but I choose to clean briefly only with a small towel. The best thing I could do is to wash my hair and that's about my limit.

The toilets are nice in the first day. You got water to flush, but I guess maybe some people are not used to flush water after usage, so it became hell like in the next morning. Luckily, the local staff were nice enough to clean up the mess afterward. But still, some friends got constipations because of the toilet.

If you asked me, I would suggest two simple things:-

1. add a shinny, maybe silver color, cover for each tents and I believe the tent will become very comfortable to stay inside during the day time

2. make two shelters in the place where we have two big arrays of tape, one side for gentlemen and another side for the ladies... so that you can at least "bath" more freely

Anyway.... it's still a very "impressive" experience!

Four nights without bathing....


對城市人來說, 這確實是一個鬼地方!

就說沒有地方洗澡已經就夠了... 聽說當地人沒有洗浴的習慣, 所以就是貴賓團也是沒有沖身到方的安排!

但試想想, 一個一千人都不夠的響村, 竟然可以召待二千人以上, 其實已經很不錯了!!!

這個營地要留上幾天, 其實不是太大問題, 但慘痛的是, 我們很多人都是趕了兩天路來的, 兩天的疲累, 臭臭的身軀, 竟然沒有地方可以清潔一下, 實在有點是痛, 但無論如何... 我只能說, 我不是為洗澡而來的!!!

這個地方的設計也可以... 床很大, 真的很大... 沙就是多, 但整天也看見有人灑水, 很不錯吧!

在場有 Internet 供應, 收費也不貴, 但那兩天, 我就乾脆讓自己斷線幾天, 反正日間天氣那麼熱, 也不好去上網! 晚上星光閃閃, 幹嗎要對著電腦?

其實在這個行程中, 可謂居無定所... 在火車上過了一晚, 因為空調不好, 睡得不好... 然後兩晚在這個繁星點點的地方, 當然不願多睡, 最後一晚在巴士上坐了一整夜! 好不容易才逃回香港溫暖的家!

過程中, 先是看日食的熱情, 才忍受了那幾夜! 日食後, 就是想家的感覺, 就足夠了那差不多兩晚在車上的苦情... 看來, 人只要知道一切都只是暫時的, 短暫的, 忍受似乎算不上甚麼!

No comments: