. The bus breaks down frequently. When it does the drivers disappear underneath, burnishing spanners and more Tibetans appear miraculously and help to get it on its way again. If our bus runs smoothly the road is blocked by other buses or trucks that have broken down, often tipping ominously to one side.
The island is extraordinarily pretty with craggy peaks. My beach bungalow faces the most picture perfect lagoon straight out of the paradise catalogue with little islets (called motus) a reef (with crashing waves that sound like an aeroplane that never quite manages to land) and the obligatory white sand and bendy palm trees.
I booked a cheap hotel in Kings Cross and found out why it was such a good deal when I got there. I knew nothing about Kings Cross (it’ the red light district area) and when I arrived a guy was standing in the doorway wearing a leather mini and a blonde wig. I got take away and stuck a chair under the door handle
My first trip to China (if you don’t count Hong Kong) was in the nineties. This was pre-digital camera when the images are scanned from old prints, so they are a little grey and dull. That’s pretty well how the weather was when I was there- and the smog. It was really a good route right up through the middle, with a wiggle to the west and Sichuan/Yunnan) taking in all the major tourist sights. In those days touring was still very controlled and there was a lot of army surveillance, hotels were dubious and the many diverse sights amazing