The A9 is the mother road, connecting north to south. From Omanthai, however, it’s one big construction site. Rumbly, one lane in parts, severe delays. The impasse you see above happens like every few kilometers, they shut one lane down to pave it and all the cars have to wait and go single file. Cars is perhaps a misnomer. On one stretch I counted and there were 21 construction/industrial vehicles for every 12 that could be considered civilian transport. The A9 is under construction, which is good. It just means that right now, travelling on the A9 is very bad.
What you see above is the normal single file traffic thing, except here you can actually see the end. There are stretches where they’ve shut down a lane for almost a kilometer. You’re waiting and you can’t see any traffic there, just a guy is a safety vest holding a STOP sign. Then about 20 trucks rumble through.
The amount of construction vehicles is insane. There are literally thousands of dump trucks, lorries, CATs, etc. They’re redoing the rail line on one side, so there’s piles of gravel, shining in the sun. The road it self is being retarred, they’re moving earth, things are happening. It’s just that right now, driving on the A9 really sucks. We were in a decent jeep but my back still hurts. It also takes a hideous amount of time, you spend at least an hour waiting. Right now the A9 is getting worse before it gets better. So I wouldn’t actually recommended taking it right now. Perhaps on the overnight bus with a hefty dose of Xanax.
Just bear in mind that the road from Omanthai is a bit like the reconciliation process. Work in progress.