Hard class rail travel, destination Chengdu
By now we had got used to travelling hard class on the Chinese railways.
Even though it was summer and very hot, in many ways I preferred it
to the air-conditioned cocoon of soft class.
In hard class there was always a friendly atmosphere.
We did not know it at the time but this leg of the journey was to be disastrous.
We had left Xian for Chengdu where we were booked on a Yangtze River cruise ship.
The itinerary was to include a visit to Chongqin, then the famous cruise
through the Yangtze River Three Gorges, and finally Wuhan where we were to disembark.
However we never got to see Chengdu, Chongqin, or the Three Gorges.
There had been a massive rain storm which had damaged the railway line to Chengdu
and after an interminable delay at a small station, our train returned to Xian.
The Yantze River cruise had to be abandoned.
Although we could have made it to Chengdu after the railway line had been repaired,
we would have been too late to catch the cruise ship on which we were booked.