Having done the bus leg from Zhongdian to Daocheng we though the worst was behind us.
Well apparently we didnt even know what the worst was.
But its the Trans-Tibetan highway, its sure to be paved.
Well its the exact opposite in reality. At some stage it was paved, probably about 20 years ago. Then some other time, probably about 4 or 5 years ago, the whole length of this section was bulldozed out. We assume that this was done to put a new road in, and yes there were thousands of people working on it, but this road will still be a mess for many years to come.
So not only was this road worse than any road we had been on so far, it was also one of the busiest and most truck heavy of any road. Well this was going to be a fun 12 hour bus ride.
Here you can see our first toilet break.
Our second break after coming over a pass, where the drivers cool down their breaks with a hose. At this point it was noticed that one of our back tires was flat.
So we made a stop at the mechanic for a quick fix up. They also did quite of bit welding under there, as well as a bit of pneumatic hose replacement.
We hugged a large river for a while. Where we were stopped at a check point. They took all our passports, then returned to drag the only other westerner, a British girl (who could luckily speak fluent Chinese), off the bus. She returned after a bit with our passports, apparently they just needed her to explain to them where the hell Australia was and tell them it was not a made up country.
We headed up a side river, then up and over another pass.
A couple of hours out of Kanding we stopped for some grub. We just got some potatoes, not bad at all.
All I can say is I hope I never have to do that bus ride again before the road is re-surfaced. Though it is well worth the pain in the ass (literally) to get up to Yading national park, as it is really one of the highlights of anything I have ever done, don’t let the road put you off.
They are building an airport in Daocheng, which may open 2013-2014, but to see Yading without the masses I recommend getting there the hard way before the thousands and thousands of tourists waiting for the plane.