Eager to get out of the god forsaken place, we had to pay for the privilege of a cold shower, which was not going to happen. We left at 9am as Pasang said that the road was full of construction and if we left now we would be able to have a half day’s free time, in a place that he summed up as a deserted Chinese run town. Oh whoopee.
The road was interesting and at times was like what we experienced for the first week of our trip, sheer long drops down to rocky raging rivers with only millimetres space for one car let alone two. About 30kms from Zhangmu we came across the construction work on the road, and this 30km took us over 2 hours to travel, due to trucks in the road, workers in the road, rocks on the road due to a recent blast to reduce danger above us, rocks that had recently been moved from one blast thrown over the side of the mountain to then land in the road below, stopping progress. Oh and a hundred other reasons which made progress slow. However we were in a hurry, apparently, to get to scumville, as Pasang and Poo Poo were both eagerly looking at their watches, there was something in scumville that they were eager to get to. We think a program on TV.
Arriving in Zhangmu was an experience, firstly for the many trees and lower altitude, it is described in a guide book as ‘wild west meats eastern China’ we are not sure where they were looking though. This is a place clinging to a steep mountain side, with one, two way, road working its way around the town, which is always blocked, due to two way traffic of non waiting impatient drivers or lorries waiting in the road to unload their goods or receive goods to take to their respective countries of Tibet/China or Nepal.
We just would like to say we did ask about the eagerness of peoples driving, what with never giving way for anyone, we asked if there is actually a test that people needed to take or a license people needed to obtain. The answer was a resounding oh yes, it is very difficult to pass the test with many different parts and a strict pass rate, a smile crossed our lips as we grabbed hold of anything as we screeched round a blind bend going too fast on the wrong side of the road with a lorry blaring its horn coming the other way. “Poo Poo is one of the best drivers’. Really? (Though we cannot fault his off road skills, but that is a different skill).
Anyway back to Zhangmu as we drove down the winding road, we passed piles of smelly rubbish, a chicken factory where the recently de-feathered birds were laying out in the dirty road (we think we will go vegetarian tonight!), and many other bizarre and better not to mention things. Arriving at our hotel, we firstly find some food and try and locate some internet, but the whole town has been cut off for the last couple of days, so after our wander around the two way street (though it should be one way for everyone’s benefit) we return to our hotel room to shower and just spend the rest of the evening watching an awful film called ‘Smoking Aces’.