Slice of life Day 6 03/06/2018
The road from our small town into the state capital used to be a nightmare, despite being part of the country’s national highway. It was 90 kilometres (56 miles) of excruciatingly slow progress, trying to negotiate the bits of gravel in between the larger potholes, caused by too many trucks with too many heavy loads and metres of annual monsoon rain.
Before we were given a vehicle, we had to travel via the local public transport, so we would often wait up to an hour to be squished into a jeep that really only fitted seven comfortably plus the driver, but invariably squeezed in up to twelve of us, with the driver sitting on one cheek and hanging halfway out the window as he drove with one hand. It’s a twisty windy road through the hills and used to take up to three and a half hours of bone shaking discomfort to cover that relatively short distance.
On our return journey we had to negotiate for extra space as we had cartons and bags and building materials to fit on the roof or inside. It was usually slower to fill up for the journey back, so more unpleasant anticipation of that horrendous homeward trip as we hung around the garbage strewn, betel juice stained jeep stand.
About six years ago a big contracting company came in and began the long slow process of upgrading the route and turning it into a properly sealed road (I still hesitate to call it a highway as it only allows one vehicle in either direction). We were also given enough money to buy our own jeep which was like the icing on the cake!
And now the whole road is completed and those awful trips have become a distant memory. We go into the city more often and always rejoice at this wonderful smooth solid road, that has finally been built TO LAST and won’t need constant patching up (by hand) as do all the other local roads around here! Most of them are still like the photos above and not the one below!