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Pop bottle raft arrives at the Expo ... almost

10-12-2010 14:06 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- A pub owner from central China's Hunan Province has recently made a trip of 1,500 kilometers towards the Expo 2010 Shanghai on a raft made of plastic bottles, though he was not able to fulfil his dream of sailing into the Expo Garden.

As soon as he arrived in Shanghai, Xia applied for approval to enter the Expo Garden via the water gate along the Huangpu River.

However, maritime management authorities said the raft was too slow to sail safely in the Huangpu River, and turned down his request. Xia then decided to anchor his raft at a dock in suburban Shanghai and instead took a subway to visit the Expo Garden over the weekend.

A pub owner from central China's Hunan Province has recently made a trip of 1,500
kilometers towards the Expo 2010 Shanghai on a raft made of plastic bottles, though
he was not able to fulfil his dream of sailing into the Expo Garden.

"I've been sailing for 156 days to see the Expo Garden,"Xia was quoted as saying by Tuesday's China Daily. "The journey has been much more turbulent than I had expected before I launched the raft."

The 36-year-old pub owner from Xiangtan of Hunan built his 7-meter-long 2-meter-wide raft out of 2,010 plastic bottles collected at his pub and attached to a wooden frame.

The unusual mode of transportation has been widely debated in online forums, with many applauding his perseverance, while others suggest he is playing himself up and is not engaged in honest work.

"I just want to promote a lifestyle with a low-carbon footprint and raise awareness to protect the water environment, just like the Shanghai Expo advocates,"Xia said." It's not really all about myself -- it's about an environmentally friendly lifestyle."

For the first couple of weeks, Xia sailed with friends, but he completed the trip by himself when the friends returned to work.

Xia stayed at hostels in towns and farmhouses in villages where he could buy food and drinking water. One time his breakfast was a single piece of ham. When he could not find a bed, he slept in a tent.


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