This morning we had about an 80 km drive that took us 1.5 hours due to all the road works on the main road we travelled on. We opted not to go on the highway as it costs about $10 AUD per 100 kilometres which is quite expensive as we have over 11,000 kilometres to drive in China! A new highway is being constructed above and next to the road we were driving on, it’s built up very high on pylons and because if this There are many trucks on the road.
There is a great tunnel system that we drive through which must take a lot of time off a journey as it’s much quicker to go through the mountain than around it. The longest tunnel we drove through today was 5 kilometres.
Once we turn off the highway the provincial roads in this are under construction, but the scenery is lovely & lush.
We visited the Tropical Botanical Gardens in Xishyangbanna which is run by the Chinese Academy of Science and it is stunning. We only saw the west area as the whole site covers 11 square kilometres. The area is beautifully laid out in sections with ponds and paths around the plantings.
After having Lunch at the botanical gardens we drove the remaining 153 kilometres to our destination of Puer on a toll way which cost us $56 Yuan or $11 AUD. There aren’t the roadworks on this road that we had this morning so we can actually travel up to 120kph.
We hadn’t been on the road for long when Dash B called over the radio that he had engine troubles & the car was missing. We found a place to stop and it was ascertained to be an electrical problem.
After changing the spark plugs, the coil and eventually the electronic distributor the problem persisted. Eventually Michael jumped in the driver seat to see if he could get a better idea of what was wrong. While Michael was driving Dash B, it finally stoped running completely so with only 20 kilometres to go Shiraz hooked up Dash B and towed her to the hotel. No mean feat towing a car through a Chines city.
Once at the hotel Henk, Michael and David tracked the problem down to the fuel pump not pumping effectively. The fuel pump was swapped over and a late dinner was had by all with a plan to test Dash B at 5:30 tomorrow morning.
Puer is famous for it’s tea, with many terraced tea plantations. There are shops that just sell tea & offer tea tastings. We bought some red tea that is tights balls of tea leaves about 2 cm diameter and we can make 4-5 cups from1 ball, it’s very tasty & much nicer than tea bags! We also have some other local tea stops taste one day. There is one tea that is made using the dried skin of a small orange but that needs to put into a large pot, which we don’t have with us!
We aren’t ready for dinner until after the boys finish working on DashB at about 9 pm and the restaurants around the hotel are closed. with 14 hungry people to feed we ask the hotel if they could cook something for us. They had closed the restaurant and washed the floors but they smiled and said of course and showed us to 2 tables and proceeded to cook us fried rice with egg, sweet & sour pork ribs, chicken stir fry, stir fried tomatoes & egg, minced pork & greens stir fry and a steamed bread with a spicy salted shrimp spread which was all delicious and cooked fresh for us & served with a local beer of course to wash it down.