July 22, 2009 ALP Total Solar Eclipse Expedition To Wuhan, China
by James Kevin Ty & Francisco Lao, Jr.
Images by James Kevin Ty  , Jett Aguilar,  Francisco Lao, Jr., Andrew Ian Chan , Chang Guo Qiang





Last July 19, part of the ALP Wuhan Total Solar Eclipse Expedition Team composing of ALP expedition team leader /President James Kevin Ty,  VP Jett Aguilar, ALPha Editor in Chief Francisco Lao, Jr. , Andrew Ian Chan, & guest Zareer Contractor departed from Manila to the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province , China.  They were later joined by ALPer Johnny Quinto and family composing of wife Alpha, and daughters Jaime , Joanna , Jillian  & Jemimah Quinto the next day and Andrew's sister ALPer Berenice Viola and mom Elaine Chong joined the group on the 21st.

The first batch of the Wuhan team departed at 9:00am via China Southern from Manila and arrived at  Xiamen at around 11:00am.  As they arrived the strict airport policy at the Xiamen airport lead to the individual multiple checking of temperature as well as swabbing to check if any of the passengers have the Swine Flu A H1N1 virus. This procedure lead to a slight delay for the team to transfer their luggage and equipment from the international airport to the domestic airport .  As they were getting their luggage, James' luggage was damaged by the airline luggage transfer as part of the bottom part of his luggage got ripped wide.  Luckily, the items inside the luggage was still intact and James had to asked for the airline personnel to help secure his luggage and had it packed with packaging tape as well as plastic strap for the luggage.  It was a bit disheartening on the part of James because it was just the first part of the flight plan and something already gone bad.  For James, this was the second mishap that was related to the trip preparation.  Last July 17, upon finding out that the charger of the Canon videocam on loan from Canon was faulty and he had to make last ditch decision to go back to Canon to get a replacement charger amid hard rain and flood that morning and his car was badly damaged by deep flood near Gil Puyat corner Roxas Blvd :( 

Anyway, the show must go on and they boarded another China Southern local flight from Xiamen at around 1:50pm and arrive at Wuhan at around 3:20pm. Then after clearing immigration, they were met by their local tour guide named Ma Cheng who we later found out was the assistant manager of the local travel agency contact of our Manila travel agency, Uni-Orient Travel Agency. We boarded our rented aircon bus and we went to our hotel, Holiday Inn Tian-An.  After unloading their luggage and equipment, they  went out again to make site inspection at their  target eclipse observing site which is in Hankou Jiangtan Park. Man!  The park was huge!  Ma Cheng told them that the park is more than 3 hectares in size and it is beside the famous Yangtze River.  While site inspection, they were able t se a lot of people swimming at the River to cool off as the temperature that afternoon was a bit hot maybe around 35 deg C.  Also notable are lot of people flying kites and one of the big kites resemble a centipede  with multiple eclipse-shaped Suns on its back  as well as solar and wind powered park lamps :)

Holiday Inn Tian-An

ALP  Wuhan TSE Team's official hotel and headquarters :)

A Fisheye view of Hankou district of Wuhan from the hotel room

Solar and Wind Powered Park Lamps , Nice!

Centipede shaped kite with eclipse Sun shaped back design

(L-R) ALPers  Andrew Ian Chan and Jun Lao are all smiles at Jiangtan Park while Zed Contractor rests and looking at the Yangtze River

A picture on how bad James' luggage was damaged by the airline's rough handling of his luggage. Thank God all his equipment are intact and functioning ok.

Afterwards, they went to a local dept store RT Mart and bought some food & water supplies as well as batteries, and other small hardware stuffs for use during eclipse dry runs and actual day.  And since all are dead tired and hungry already, they settled at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken House and had a good dinner and then went back to the hotel to get some rest and prepare for tomorrow eclipse dry run in the morning.




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