Inspecting the mudslide
Never mind bubbling mud, we were very nearly stuck in the mud today. Ali spotted a scenic route that followed the Whanganui River downstreamthrough a lush valley, much more picturesque than the main road apparently. We were to pass through a small village called Jerusalem, home to a historic church, and several Maori settlements. The only snag was that much of it was on gravel. Just as I was musing at how like Yunnan the driving was - rough, pot-holed tracks with landslide debris, we found our way blocked by an unsurpassable mudslide. I remembered that the Tui insurance covers us for most things except driving idiocy, so we decided to turn back. Fortunately we had only travelled 25 km down the 97 km route, so it wasn't as much as a detour as it might have been and we were able to enjoy the thick forest scenery until that point. No gravel roads after heavy rain from now on, unless there's an easy way out!

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