Louzhou, Sichuan Province, China
Another day, another 300 km's covered. And as you can see from the photo I have hopefully posted above we are totally filthy. Eight hours spent tailing Dong Feng's belching black smoke tends to make one a little grubby.
War nearly broke out between the mothertruckers and the mothertukkers this afternoon. We've almost become accustomed to the driving here; the penchant for overtaking round the blindest corners, the neither a look to the left nor the right before pulling out, the constant near misses. But one Dong Fenger today really took the biscuit. As he roared past us, nearly sending Ting Tong and contents off a rocky precipice, I made the error of giving him the finger. The sight of an angry white arm appearing out of a mobile pink wendy house obviously riled him for as soon as he passed us he, whilst driving, opened the door of his truck, leant out and shook his fists in fury. Unluckily for us, a toll gate appeared 2 km later and as we pulled up the still seething trucker leapt out of his lorry and marched over to Ting Tong, gesticulating wildly and shouting what I can only assume wasn't 'Welcome to China, have a nice day'. I seriously thought he might punch me, and he probably would have if a burly security guard hadn't restrained him. He did however manage to unzip his trousers and reveal a pair of red Y front and all therein before Jo finally paid the toll and we zoomed off. All the time Jo had been oblivious to my plight, dealing with paying the toll, and couldn't believe it when I filled her in. Sam said maybe I shouldn't give anyone the finger and I think I agree. I spent the next 70 km thinking about that film Duel, waiting for the offended trucker to appear on our tail and force us off the edge of the mountain. Quite scary. I guess its all down to cultural relativism - driving that is totally acceptable here would lose you your license in the UK in 2 minutes. So he probably thought my finger was unjustified, while I saw our lives flashing before my eyes.
We're in Luzhou tonight, big, polluted and very hot. Sam has left us to our own devices so we're off to explore and hopefully not get lost or fed dog by accident.