The bus to Weining left at 9am. It was a slightly smaller bus and not as comfortable as the bus I took to Guiyang. It was supposed to be a 6 hour journey to Weining and everything was going fine until after lunch, around 1pm. I took the first bus to Weining because I wanted to arrive during daylight hours, but that wasn’t going to happen!
We came to a long line of backed up traffic. Since we were on mountain roads, my first thought was landslide. My second thought was accident. Unfortunately it was the latter. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I walked up to the first stopped car to look. A minivan had crashed into a large truck. The truck was sideways, blocking the 2 lane mountain road. The truck was nearly undamaged but the front of the van was crushed. Just as I got there to look, there were rescue crews there using the jaws of life to open the passenger door. Sadly, the passenger was dead, as was the driver. It was disturbing to see, I’ve never seen such a recent accident like this. The driver’s side was even more crushed. They started working on opening the drivers door but I didn’t stick around to watch this. I had seen enough.
This delayed us for about 2 hours and then we were on our way. About an hour later we were stopped again by traffic. Another accident? I don’t know because I didn’t get out to look this time, no one did. It was getting late and cold. This delayed us for more than an hour but I think it was just a bunch of huge trucks all bunched up blocking the road. So I finally arrived in Weining 10 hours after leaving Guiyang, instead of the 6 it was supposed to take.
I took a taxi to the only 2 hotels listed in the guidebook and they were both full! I was wondering what the hell was going on in Weining? It’s a small city of only 50,000 or so. This was getting frustrating. I showed the Mandarin phrasebook to my next driver and pointed to ‘Can you recommend a hotel?’ We drove by a couple and he waved his hand as if to say, no, those are no good. We finally drove off the main road to a tiny sidestreet with 2 hotels across from each other. I went into the first and they had a room. I didn’t even need to see it. The listed prices were okay and I thought it would be fine and it was. Just as I was checking in though, an english speaking local arrived and kindly showed me to me room and then she got a dinner of fried rice for me, so I didn’t even have to go out to eat. That was really nice of her. Some locals here are incredibly kind and helpful.
The room was a fair price as to what I’ve been paying, around $17. This room was actually one of the nicest I have ever had. The only downside was no western toilet and it was extremely cold, only 6C. The benefits were a huge bed, TV, couch, lots of nice tables and desk for stuff and a hot/cold water cooler. This was the first room I’ve ever had with one of those. You can find them in most hotels/hostels, but I’ve never had one in my room. It was my first room to have an electric blanket as well. This blanket is under the sheet and warms up the bed nicely, too much actually for sleeping. It was nice when I was reading or watching TV but at night, with the super warm blanket, it was too much.
I came to Weining to go to Caohai lake, a shallow lake that is visited by many rare birds. After a nice breakfast of rice porridge and dumplings, I took a taxi to the lake. It wasn’t that far but I wasn’t sure which direction as the guidebook had no map.
Dec 24 2011