We all perpared ourselves mentally for the big 23 hour train ride from Shanghai to Guilin. Finally we get out of the big polluted manic cities to enjoy the peace and quiet of the lovely Longji Mountians..... Or so we thought. the morning consited of finding a decent breakfast.... we opted for Macca's (and have never been so happy!) Then spent a fortune, what seemed a fortune here ($10 each) for train food. Everyone gathered and we were on our way to the train station. Going by the standards of previous stations least to say we were not so much looking forward to this escapade. Sitting high on an overpass at least 4 stories high, an alien sight fast approached. The Shanghai train station looks like a cross betweena beetle and an alien ship. All glass, the layout of the main hall of the shanghai station is as described“two doors in south and north, elevated railway”. The station is very modern with a guiding system for travelers, 16 air-conditioned rooms and 7 "auto" staircases.
Upon taking a seat for the 30 min arrival window we were told there was to be a delay. there had been the worst floods in 50 years and the train could not make a pass some where half way back from Guilin. It would not return until possibly 12 midnight. A quick vote was tken and everyone decided to wiat it out. I was secretly hoping we could catch a plane (as was my original intent) because this would be covered by insurance. But alas it was not to be. We set about amusing ourselves when at 11pm the finash line to the start of the race was before us... yet agin there were delays... now until 5am.
At this stage no-one cared about the added expense ( in fact only $120 in total) considering we'd still have to bear the 23hour ride and loose a day to boot. OUr fabulous tour guide gained some rooms in a dire hotel opposite the station, about a 20 minute walk which felt more like 40mins carrying a 15kg backpack in 30 degree heat.
BUT... The morning flight of only 2 hours would not only get us there soooo quick and comfortably but a wholoe half day ahead of schedule. Happy days!