24th April – Guanling to Jinsha

We wake to a showery day and drive 185 km on a highway to the Zhijin Caves.  Driving through the villages to get to the caves the road is under repair & it is very muddy with lots of potholes filled with water.

The caves are massive, there are many huge caverns that are interconnected and they are absolutely beautiful.

The stalagmites & stalactites are huge with some of them being lit with different colours.  At the bottom of some of the caverns there is a small lake, reflecting the formations and colours beautifully.

There is one skinny stalagmite that is the skinniest one found so far in the world.  There is even an Indiana Jones like pathway that we walk on, being very careful not to step on the wrong stone for fear of falling into the abyss.

We walk approximately 3 km up and down and through the caves, with some stalagmites resembling things like tigers, dragons, Buddha,  jelly fish & even a Star Wars storm trooper etc.

The walk through the caves takes us about 2 hours, after which we have lunch and get back on the road. As we make our way to the highway we drive on another potholed muddy road & then on through a lovely village, where a couple of girls are plucking chickens in the street in front of their restaurant, tonight’s dinner no doubt!

Jinsha has an enormous coal fired power station which puffs out an enormous amount of steam & smoke.


As we arrive into Jinsha, Vulcan gets a flat tyre, number 2 for the trip so far. DashB & Shiraz stop to help him change it.  The triangle goes out & Lindy directs traffic in her hi-vis vest.  Before we know it the wheel is changed  & we catch up with the others who are filling up with petrol.  The girls serving the fuel are dressed in their lovely uniforms & wearing their high heels, they are very glamorous & friendly and they just want to have their photo taken with us.  As a pleasant surprise we are given 2 boxes of tissues per car & a free car wash.  So after a drive in the wet & on some very muddy roads we now have clean cars.

We check into our hotel & go for a bit of a wander around town before dinner in a restaurant that was similar to last night’s but with not quite as much bling.  Michael has taken along the Baijiu to share with the table.  We have a private room where we are served by the staff who have next to no English, so once again Google translator helps us out. The girls serving us want to keep taking photos with us as this is not a very touristy area and they probably don’t see many westerners.

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