We landed smoothly in Chengdu. The only action occured when Sarah, one of the two Danes, realized she had forgotten the purse with her passport on board the aircraft. The team of four did not waste a second, and while waiting for her outside our bus, the four of us improvised a table with chairs out of a flag post and four luggage trolleys. Our epic game of euchre is still on and Mark and I are still in the lead. The first thing we did in Chengdu was a walk in the park. This park is somehow special, because anyone who wants to can pick up a mic and sing and dance. The sound is loud and their standing so close to eachother that the sound of two and three of them interfere. This was not a pleasent experience for my ears. You could also find a future partner in the park. Either you, or your parents, can put up a laminated sheet of paper with requirements for your spouse. "170cm, makes more than 5000 yuan a month, does not sneaky ball, etc". No pic - no reply, the singles in the group had to continue their search elsewhere. The highlight of this little excursion was the bumper cars.  I can't really remember when I drove one of these the last time, but it's a while ago. It was much fun crashing into the others as much as I could for three minutes.

"This region is famous for four things! Can you guess what?", Milly asks. We're now in Sichuan, a province south-west in China. Turns out the answer is pandas, opera, spicy food and spicy people. The people like to eat spicy food, so they sweat alot. Sweating alot makes their skin clean, so the girls are famous for their pretty skin. Also, the people here are leasuring alot, so working hours end at 14.00 and it's time to go to the park and play mahjong. The day passed and in the evening we went to see an opera. The highlight was a dude that made shadow images of horses, rabbits, birds etc with his hands and some dudes changing masks very quickly. After this, Derek, Les and I went on a mission: to find beers and panda hats. Everywhere they sell these pretty cool panda hats. We got both and went happily back home to bed after trying to eat dog. Trying to explain that you want dog by barking at a chinese street food selling guy  is not easy.

Waking up, going to the bus, arriving at a Panda sanctuary! Many people may have seen a panda or two at a zoo, but 20 different ones at the same day? I think not!:) Surprising the group with our super cool panda hats created some laughter and then we set out to see the pandas. They are some lazy ass bears that sit there eating bamboo all day. They are pretty cute. Derek with his 133 kilos and panda hat was actually the biggest panda of them all haha. The baby pandas would probably be a dream pet for every little girl. Our guide told as a story about a chinese kid that loved pandas so much he spray painted his big dog into a panda. People thought he was walking around with a panda so the cops put him into jail for one week. Apparently the morale of the story was that chinese take their pandas seriously. By the way, do you know how you can see that the panda wives never do the dishes properly? They always have two black eyes;) I kinda made that one up myself with some help of a joke I knew from earlier. I'm proud.

After the giant pandas, a giant buddha awaited us. A massive sitting dude, chisseled into the mountain side. He's looking over the intersection point of three rivers, making sure that the boat men are safe. I don't believe it works, but hey, it's an awesome statue. When we got tired of him we left the dude there to sit some hundred years more and headed off to the monastary. The monastary was nice and the rainy weather said play cards! I don't know how many rules we broke that evening but I guess drinking beer, gambling, cursing and offering empty beer cans and trash to a fat buddha statue won't improve our karma haha. The next day we would check out the mountain the monastary was at the bottom of.

Most of the group wanted to make the regular trip, but the three musketeers wanted to reach the summit as well. We got up at 5.30 and headed down to the bus station. After a two hour bus ride we were dropped off at the bottom of the summit and we went to the line to take the cable car to the summit. Funny thing. In the line we saw this chinese lad with a cap that had a norwegian flag on it and "drunken" written under it. That pretty much sums up Norway haha. It was a hazy day with rain and we didn't see shit at the top so we might call the early bird project a failure, but at least we tried. We walked down and passed some monkeys on the way to the bus. The bus took us to the place where the others started the regular trip and we started a couple of hours after the others. A lot of beautiful signs on this hike. For instance a list over socialist values. Some of them are pretty good and apply for alot of Norwegians. Espescially "Take hard work as an honor, regard loving ease and hating work a disgrace". Some of the chinglish signs up there were also great. One of my favourites so far: "Caution aggressive monkeys here. don't joke the monkeys".  The scenery on this part of the hike was amazing, and the reward at the end was awesome! The joking monkey zone! A small loop with some bridges and paths full of active monkeys. They did everything they could to get hold on whichever article you might have accessable, that being a cap, bottle, umbrellla, food etc. We had each our monkey stick, a one meter bamboo stick, and with that one we were to defend ourselves. It was shitloads of fun and one of them got Derek. A massive monkey jumped him and we were all greatly amused watching him being helped by the old monkey chasing ladies. After a fairly long hike back to the bus stop, we were all done for and our calves would be very soar the next day.

After another night with cards in the monastary, we set off to Chongqing the next morning. There we got our tickets and entered the steamer haha. An interesting cruise on the Yangze river awaited us.

PS: Tracks are available.

1 comment:

  1. Great update. Fun to hear about your travels! I want to work untill 14 everyday too :D