The weather broke with a big storm in the afternoon of the day before yesterday(Saturday) and it has been raining more or less continuously ever since. So yesterday's 10 hour bus ride (which began at 6.30 am), turned into a 15 hour marathon, punctuated by landslides and rock falls, none of which did anything to improve the quality of the road which was often little more than a dirt track.
Six and a half hours into the journey we came to a halt and joined a long queue of stationary vehicles and there we sat for the next 2 hours while the landslide was cleared. Just over an hour later we joined an even longer queue of stationary vehicles and this time it was 3 hours before the earth-moving machine even appeared and started to clear the road. During the 3 hours of waiting the build up of vehicles was huge. There must have been hundreds of cars, buses, lorries, etc, all with people wanting the loo and food. Fortunately there was a sort of restaurant in the vicinity (I think it was actually a private house with a seemingly limitless supply of pot noodles, which they flogged to the multitudes and probably never needed to work again). The loos had got steadily worse as our journey progressed. This final one was simply a plank jutting out over the river!
At 7.45pm we were on our way again and arrived at our destination at 10pm. In view of the lateness of the hour and the general paucity of hotels, I splashed out on the swankiest one in town! What a treat!! A soft bouncy bed, a posh bathroom but, strangely, no bar - a reflection, perhaps, of the Chinese non-drinking culture. Well, I've grown very fond of Chinese beer, so I went to the local supermarket and bought a couple of cans, which I drank in bed!
This morning the rain and the waiting continued. No taxis were to be had so I took abicycle rickshaw to the bus station but was dropped off in the wrong place. A kindly off-duty Chinese policeman got me to the right place but there was a 3 hour wait until my bus left - or so I thought! The departure time of 1440 was suddenly changed to 1400! Luckily I was found and shepherded onto the bus and all was well. More later.