Photos from India

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Crossing into China

It took an overnight train followed by a frustrating border crossing but I finally made it into China! After crossing the border and managing to hide my guide book which I had heard rumors of them being confiscating at this border in particular for various communistic reasons, I hopped on another bus for yet another 12 hour journey. Being that we were in China, I expected the bus ride to be across some massive highway speeding along across the country side. The reality however was much much different. We followed what seemed to be a service road that followed beneath a brand new highway. There were however no cars on the highway and no ramps to get on or off if it. I don't think it was open yet, but I can honestly say that I have never in my life seen a highway that could have cost as much as this one. We must have driven over a hundred miles on slow and bumpy roads beneath this thing all the while, it was nothing but elevated highway that was usually soaring at least a hundred feet above our heads. Chinese style highway building for sure.

The bus ride continued to be bumpy and we never managed to get on any major roads, just small worn out two lane roads through small towns. The views of the mountains and valleys we were passing through were absolutely stunning and I was ecstatic to be looking out the window for the entire day. The one thing that wasn't impressive however was the lack of food. Everywhere I have been in Asia, the buses stop a ridiculous amount of times so people can get out, use the toilet and get something to eat. Even a two hour bus ride usually included a thirty minute stop plus two toilet breaks. My 12 hour bus ride consisted of two toilet breaks that were at the worst toilets I have ever seen in my life and no food for miles in sight along with one dinner stop for 20 minutes at a small building serving noodle soup. I have to say that after not eating anything in the last 14 hours, that meal was one of the best I have ever eaten.

The bus finally arrived to my first Chinese city, Kunming. I checked into a youth hostel and fell straight to sleep although there was someone snoring as loud as I have ever heard in another bed in the room. When the sun came in through the window the next morning, I awoke and took a shower and then realized I wasn't feeling very good. It must have been a slight case of dehydration as I didn't drink much water on the train to avoid having to go to the toilet and again did the same on the bus. I realized I hadn't drank but about a liter of water in the last 24 hours where ordinarily I would have gone through four liters in that time period. With my head hurting while feeling nauseated, I laid back down for an hour to regain enough strength to find a spot to eat breakfast.

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