The journey from Kunming to Laohuzui was rough. Our unfortunate luck for stepping onto a bus whose driver had an undefinable and indefensible sense of duty and zero communication. We had a bathroom break about two hours in, but little did we know that would be our last. Five hours later with no stop permitted, we neared our destination after sundown but ended up in a traffic jam. Some of the riders, who had no luggage underneath, force their way off the bus and into the small village we were near. Lily and I considered our options. Eventually the traffic began moving and we were able to force an update from the driver who said “10 minutes”. What proceeded was a solid hour of high speed tight winding switchbacks with no means to know when our journey would complete (and bladders could be emptied). Amazingly, car sickness with Heidi and myself only set in the final 20 minutes and we were able to make it off the bus before having to use a bucket (generously provided by the bus company). After 15 minutes of bread and standing on solid ground, we hired a taxi to take us the remaining 40 minutes into the village.
We recovered quickly the next day and found ourselves in an oasis. Lush green mountain and terraced rice paddies encircling our village. The village itself built entirely from stone with rushing water routed through a vast network of canals alongside twisting walkways.