Shiraz is the lead car today and we have a transport day of approximately 340 kilometres in drizzling rain on the highway. The outlook from our hotel room over the Yangtze river was really bleak when we woke up.
Michael is driving and the plan is to stop at a service centre to have morning tea & fill up with fuel, however about 5 kilometres from the service centre Burgundy runs out of fuel. Goldie comes to the rescue with his reserve petrol and we all arrive at the service centre for a wet morning tea stop!
Today’s drive takes us on toll roads and through many tunnels. Most of the toll booths are just square modern buildings but every now & there there is a traditional pagoda style one.
We continue back on the highway & drive into a reasonable size city called Wan Xian that has a beautiful park in the centre of town where we stop for lunch for 1 hour. The park has meandering paths through manicured gardens of camellias and other flowers and includes an anti Japanese monument and a huge bell tower. We eat our lunch in a rotunda and then have tea in a tea house which was a very pleasant stop in this tranquil setting.
Back on the road Kay takes over driving Shiraz & Michael jumps into Burgundy with Tony. This part of the trip has a lot of long tunnels, the longest being 7.9 kilometres. Unbeknown to the team, Burgundy’s CB radio stopped working and they didn’t get the message that we were taking the exit to Wushan and they missed it. When we arrive at the toll booth they aren’t with us, we have lost them & they are still on the motorway. Michael is driving & they quickly realise they have missed the exit so they continue to the next exit, do a U turn at the toll booth through the witches hats and come back on the highway to the exit where the rest of the team is waiting.
After arriving at our hotel, that overlooks the Yangtze River, we settle in and have our nightly meeting with icy cold local beers.
For dinner we go to a restaurant opposite the hotel and have a wonderful meal of a whole BBQ river fish, which we think is catfish. It is cooked at the table in a large pan with many spices and broth. The staff turn it & it all breaks up, then they add potatoes & short fat noodles made from sticky rice, it’s delicious.