London to Sydney 2005 travel blog

Other road users

All aboard

Pagoda in the countryside


Robin and car

Tea growing


Road works

We arrived in Jinggu after a long stretch of very bad road at the end of the day. Everyone is furious with the guide with whom Rick had had lengthy conversation about the condition of the road. There was meant to have been a poor stretch earlier in the day and then good road. The bad bit turned out to be absolutely fine, so most people took a break for lunch thinking that the worst was over. It took 2 1/2 hours to do 40 km of our worst road conditions yet.

For us it was not too bad. I went cautiously always looking after the left hand side of the car where we have 2 collapsing bushes on the rear suspension, a squeaky groan and a damaged exhaust pipe that has been repaired temporarily. The Aston has larger wheels than some of the other cars and we found the road not too difficult - but vey wearing on car and us. There were however several casualties in the car park and some work for the local welders. Also 3 cars are running behind the rest of the group: The big Merc that was in the accident and has now been straightened, radiator repaired, burnt out wire loom replaced and various other things all in 2 days working through the night together with the Bentley and Richard and Heather's Mercedes pagoda that stayed back to help. They had hoped to make it to Jinggu by taking a different route from Dali and a 700 km day, but stopped in a small town and will now take a different route to meet up with us in Mengla.

I got the car up on the axle stands again and found the cause of our suspension issues - the coil spring has become distorted and is touching the shock absorber. I discussed the problem with John at GTC in England and how to fix it and applied grease to the rubbing part as a stop-gap.

There was another 9.30 p.m. drivers' meeting to confirm arrangements and route for tomorrow as the road is meant to be very very bad for 45 km and may be impassable but after today nobody trusts the guide's information. He claims that he cannot get up to date information from the police and has not managed to go and ask the bus drivers. Altogether quite a tense evening. Scenery along the route is, however, still very pretty (when you can see it through the mud on the windscreen) and so this is a great compensation.

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