The longest journey of the year. And the hardest.
10.09.2012 - 11.09.2012 26 °C
Day 347: Yangshuo - Guilin - Chengdu, China 10/09/2012
An eight am bus to Guilin is the first order of the day and a two hour journey flies by due mainly to the manic driver. We soon find ourselves in Guilin and en route to the train station, stopping to have two breakfasts (one bad, one good). Killing some time at a cafe outside the station playing cards, we are elevated to minor celebrity status, again bringing back memories of India. We then head into the train station and an informative overhead screen helpfully informs me I can get HIV from having my hair cut.
Before too long we are piling onto a train with what seems like half of China. The train itself is clean and efficient, which is more than can be said for the extended family that seems to be surrounding us from every conceivable direction. Over the next 32 hours a love/hate relationship develops with these people, highlights including the poor boy made to sleep on the floor under his mum's seat, the same poor boy who tries to eat Gemma's pot noodle off her fork and the same poor boy who discovers he cannot burp despite his best efforts - a small meow comes from his mouth every time he tries.
The night is hard, noisy and busy but bearable. Both manage to get a little sleep and have a surprisingly good dinner in the dining car.