If we take the school bus from and to home, it takes at least half an hour. However, if we go by taxi, and use the expressway, it takes 10 minutes. It is well worth the AU$10 in fares each day.
Yesterday, our friend, Helmi, had the family car, and drove us to school, as she had done last week. We reached the exit for school, to find it blocked, obviously because of the landslide on the feeder road that had taken the life of our colleague last week. We drove on. The road authorities, in their wisdom, have blocked every opportunity for a u-turn, so we had to go off the next exit, a long way away, in town, pay the toll, and go back on the expressway, to another exit.
This morning, in a taxi, we reached a new exit, before the school exit, and, after a short debate, took the risk. The school exit was still closed. About 5km on, the expressway forks. Yesterday, Helmi chose to go right, to town, saying the left fork, which looked like it would bring us back onto the expressway in the opposite direction, in fact, went, via another expressway, to Zeng Cheng, a city ~40km away. The taxi driver went left.
Not only was Helmi right, but there was no way of turning off or turning around for ~20km. When we did find an exit, it took us around a huge lake, in the middle of nowhere. Helen recognised a sign (in English, of course) which indicated that we were in a tourist spot famous for its way of cooking free-range chickens. We didn’t see any chickens, but we saw a fair bit of the countryside before we reached the road that runs past school.
Our 50-minute ride cost us less than AU$15. The annoying thing was that, even though the side of the road was still fenced off because of the landslide, traffic was going both directions. There seemed to be no reason why the exit should be closed. We’ll have to find a way of ascertaining its status tomorrow