Chengdu

Oh my god, its only midday and I’m feeling sick and exhausted. We arrived at Chengdu bang on 5.30 as expected and were met by a friendly Chinese fella from The Mix Hostel who I initially liked. Got to the hostel and unfortunately our rooms weren’t ready but as we were half expecting this we weren’t too concerned and happily waited for 2 hours chatting to 3 English girls.

Had some breakfast, plain porridge again, the diet obviously isn’t working too well. The “nice” Chinese fella asked me if I was expecting!! Oh my god the humiliation!( I blame it on the bread) As we have now been waiting for our room for nearly 4 hours and I’ve been up since the middle of the night I think I answered that question with extremely good grace if a bit of embarrassment and politely informed him that I didn’t think so!

We had planned to visit the worlds largest Buddha today and sort it out with the hostel staff to share a minibus with an American couple. Unfortunately though it seems to take ages to sort all 6 of us out and as it reaches 12 o’clock I finally lose my patience. It will take us 2 hours to get there and after a bit of a family discussion we decide to give it a miss for today at least. I think the kids were relieved really, they look pretty tired and we decide that Simon will head off to the station to try and sort out on onward tickets. In the meantime I’m going to spend an hour doing stomach crunches (Kidding!)

Just had some lunch, tomato, noodle and egg soup and have returned to slob out the bed for the afternoon. All the hostels in China are very similar and have a laid back traveller air about them. With lots of dark corners, endless cups of coffee and cigarettes, a great choice of books and DVDs, comfy sofas, people from at least around 20 different nationalities all comparing travel tales and always someone strumming a guitar they are the sort of places where you could happily crash out for weeks. We have spoken to a few people who have done that and I think it would be easy to get caught up with hanging out and lose sight of why we came to China.

That said there is no point feeling guilty about losing a day here, Simon has returned with our tickets to Panzhihua and we will be leaving tomorrow night and then onto Lijiang. It seems very adventurous our trusty lonely planet doesn’t even mention Panzihua and I posted on the Thorn Tree forum asking for some accommodation advice there earlier. If our plan works out though, we will be heading straight off on a bus from Panzhihua to Lijiang.

Its 10pm now off to bed. Want to get plenty of sleep credits as I guess the next few days will be tiring.