Messner On Tour
Hello my lovelies, ca va? I write to you from Chengdu, where we find ourselves going to see some Giant Pandas in the morning, and have a flight to Tibet booked for the day after. We are making a bee line for the mountains pronto after the longest 6 days of my life in China. The banter has been flowing quicker than the Yangtze but the funds are leaking quicker than oil from the Exxon Valdez. This is probably in no small part thanks to the return of lather to the fold. I am in a reconciliation period with my gizzard who threatened to pack his bags and go to stay with George Best unless the enforced drought of alcohol in Pakistan came to a swift end. A resume of some of the banter in China (nowhere near all): - Going to a Chinese disco that involved dancing in a clockwise direction (like a roller rink) around the dancefloor to the sound of 80's electric rock ballads coming from the Chinese equivalent of Depeche mode. Phil caught the eye, with a lovely young man asking for his number at the end of the evening. - A beer fuelled sleeper train ride that ended in me waking up in the wrong carriage and Phil paying an emperors ransom for a first class carriage - Checking into what looked like a perfectly reasonable hotel, but turned out to be Xi'an's main den of inequity. This resulted in 4 working ladies bursting into our room in the wee small hours - requiring all of Phil's strength to eject them, while me and Rich roamed the streets on an unrelated three way Honda motor bike ride..... - Phil almost losing a game of pool to a mental Chinese bloke with a scar from the top of his head to the bottom (lovely lad before the accident...) who played with one arm...... - Trying to find a park to have a sit down in Urumqui and instead taking a 15 minute trip down the central reservation of a Chinese motorway.... The amount of traveling put under our belts in the last few days has been phenomenal. A 13 hour bus journey from Pakistan to Kashgar, a 26 hour sleeper bus to Urumqui, a 35 hour sleeper train to Xi'an and last night a 15 hour train to Chengdu - notching up 3,500 miles of varying comfort. I don't like to talk about it though..... Yesterday we went to see the Terracotta army, which was very impressive with the amount of detail on each one of the blighters. I must admit I thought there would have been more of them but most of them are apparently still buried! Seeing the Panda's tomorrow should be great as well, but I must admit I'm itching to get back to the Himalayas. The Chinese are a good sort, although communication is nil, it's like a game of cherades at Xmas round at Chez Whittaker. Asking for 3 beef noodles is equally likely to get you a VIP ticket to the national monkey wrestling championships in December. The food is jolly good - I thought you were meant to lose weight on this round the world lark? Anyway - off to do laundry, sleep, eat (in that order?) and then we're all meeting up with a guy we met in a disco...... Live the dream Messner on ice...