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Another memorable bus trip in China, Also in Sichuan

From: Australia New South Wales Sydney @oldghost Time : 2018-07-24 16:04:11

Late October 2007, less than a year before the Sichuan earthquake I made the trip to Jiuzhaigou, meaning to go to Huanglong immediately afterwards, but it had already snowed heavily, unseasonably early.  Almost everything was closed in the village, and the only hotel I found had shut off the hot water and air conditioning - showering was no fun!  Two days in Jiuzhaigou, incredibly beautiful, wonderfully preserved, clean, totally free of tourist litter, and a true highpoint of my China travels.



Then there was the bus back to Chongqing.  Mmm - not quite such a highpoint!  The bus was totally full, and I was seated alongside a heavyset, stocky male.  Ten years earlier on my first trip to China I had never set eyes on overweight people here, apart from tourists, now they were increasingly in evidence.  Anyway I perched precariously on the seat, holding on to maintain my narrow seating.



 



The mountain path downhill for the first section is steep and winding.  He fell asleep within 10 minutes, snoring desultorily, and frequently falling over or simply resting his head on my shoulder, at which I would push him upright, he would snort and resume sleeping.  When we came to the straight descent he managed to stay upright, so that was a small boon, but, as though spring loaded, his stout legs would spread wide and edge me closer and closer to falling off ... This was supposed to be a nine hour bus trip so I was silently cursing.  Fortunately someone noted my predicament and made room on another seat.



The downhill road runs for many miles, and roadworks were in progress at frequent intervals.  It is a two lane narrow mountain road, so whenever there was road excavation, the up traffic and down traffic had to take turns.  Traffic was building up, and there were frequents delays, drivers in both directions becoming impatient.  Whenever there was any clear section, drivers in either direction would cross the unbroken white line and overtake.  Delays became increasingly long and frequent.  The bus driver too was losing his patience (if ever he had had any) and he started the overtaking.  Finally we came to a small roadwork, where we were in the wrong lane, and there was a solid queue of traffic behind us in both lanes and we were confronted by a phalanx of vehicles coming up also in both lanes.  So much for the Chinese regard for road rules!



Four hours later (and I think about 6 hours late) the bus finally stopped at a small village, where I was told to get off to take another bus for a connection with the Changjiang ship to Yichang.  That's another story altogether, and even more confusing.


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From: China @autumn2066 Time : 2018-08-06 00:44:23 #1

ah! You are so active! so many beautiful places you have already been to.(y)

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