Dear friends & family,
Hello from Kunming, China. It has been a long trip but I finally got here.
I had a 12-hr layover in San Francisco in order to use a roundtrip freebie between Albuqurque & SFO, then had another 5.5 hr in Hong Kong. My total flight time of 15.5 hr (13+ hr SFO-HKG, & 2.5 hr HKG-KMG) was less than my layover time! Unless I am totally desperate, I don’t think I will ever choose a 12-hr layover. I was near nuts with boredom. Since I was by myself and had to lug my backpack, carryon & purse everywhere, I could not walk around much, other than the necessary biological relief.
The layover in Hong Kong was great. The highly efficient public transportation in HK allowed me to get from the airport to the City Center in less than 45 minutes, where I was able to meet my friend Miguel for breakfast, then went to my sister Caroline’s house for a much needed shower. Caroline was kind enough to accompany me back to the airport, just in time to catch my flight.
Once I reached Kunming, for a while, I was in a jam as I did not know the Chinese name of New Era Hotel. (Eventually I learned that it’s called Shen Tse Yuan). After getting through of where I needed to go, then it was trying to find the right price to the hotel. I had wanted to take the bus but was told that I would need a transfer. Again, given my heavy load, I decided not to try my luck. In spite of my poor Putonghua, I was able to bargain a little for a ride to the hotel. Hey 10 yuan is 10 yuan when you’re on a budget.
This hotel is supposed to have a hotspring so I will have to try it out. Tomorrow I will just walk around town, may be even be a little adventurous and try to get around by bus. I thought about joining a tour but decided to save my RMB’s.
So long for now. Will write again when there is interesting news to report and I have access to the internet.