Giant Pandas, Red Pandas and Black Swans
Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
187Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Hello Chengdu International Youth Hostel
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Although I explored Chengdu, visiting the centre and main areas as well as the compulsory bike and camping shops I loved heading out to see the pandas, this was the real highlight of my stay here as I’ve never seen one before
Not only do I see loads of pandas in their environment with a bit of tree hugging going on too, the next enclosure has red pandas in it which aren’t at all like their namesake at all. They look more like racoons or... oh I don’t know what, but not like you would imagine. On one of my treks in Nepal, coming back from Langtang, and on my way into Gossainkunda, I was in Red Panda country but due to the snow I didn’t manage to see any, so I’m really pleased at seeing them today. They are funny looking wee guys with their long tails and white faces, cute even.
Further on we come to a lake which has thousands of gold fish and carp in it and, of all things, black swans… I’ve never even heard of black swans before never mind seeing them so I’m amazed by our find, a real experience that I will never forget. I’ve since been informed that there was a black swan in a Glasgow park for a number of years but they are originally from Australia, wow, the things you learn, that’s what travelling is all about
When back at the hostel I enjoy just chilling out, heading to the bar for a beer, reading or just listening to music, and I meet many lovely people. One older guy Ken has quite some stories to tell; he’s traveled all over the world and has had such an interesting life, ah one of these days, I find the more I travel the more I crave. People’s lives and stories are incredible and I would love to be in ‘that’ bracket one day. I’ve learned so much already, I guess that’s what travelling is all about but I find it funny when people are amazed at ‘my’ story so far, I feel I’ve done nothing yet, I’m only skimming the surface, but in comparison to others I’m now in a different league with the cycling and camping, and I can see how the travel bug gets you, I just never realised it before.
I enjoy wandering and people watching in Chengdu but ,I’m finding Jane’s company more and more draining, it’s all very negative, I could go into all sorts of examples but why bother using my energy on that front
When I returned to the hostel with my parcel it was the first smile I got from Jane the whole time we’ve been in Chengdu, she almost grabbed the box from me to go and fit the rack to my bike, I had to hold her in check while I opened it up and had a proper look. My plan was to take everything to the local bike shop to fit, but with her being so keen to tinker with the bike, saying ‘no’ wasn’t really an option, but boy I wish I had. Not only could she not fit them properly, she had a tantrum doing it and started throwing tools around, honestly what a nightmare. I stood back and watched with Ken, and we just looked at each other. I found I had to continually bite my tongue because I know she is trying to help and is doing her best but, it’s really hard work, they’re will be a bust up I’m sure! Maybe it will clear the air?
I end up glad when I’m leaving Chengdu and heading once again for the hills (what am I saying)… bring on the next chapter to my adventures and the incredible Chinese countryside and farming communities.
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