Travels through Tartary
We are now in Leshan, home of the tallest buddha in the world. That makes three places we've now been to which are home to the tallest buddha in the world. We arrived here yesterday, after visiting the panda breeding centre on the outskirts of Chengdu. Pandas are not sporty animals. If animals were to pick teams for a knock around game of football, pandas would be the ones left until last. They don't do much, and they do that slowly. Apparently, at some point in the past, pandas decided to start eating bamboo. Prior to this they were carnivores. Unfortunately this change was made without the agreement of their digestive tracks, so pandas can't digest the bamboo very well. All in all, it was an odd decision and it is causing them problems now, with less than one thousand left in the wild. People eating pandas also seems to be a contributing factor, judging by a sign over one of the panda enclosures which said "Wildlife is not food". From people eating pandas, we are moving into a part of the world where people have been eating people. It seems that in 1968, during the Cultural Revolution, "Landlord" was a popular item on the menu in one small area of Guangxi province. This was carried out by local red guards as a form of class revenge and only stopped after the army was sent in. Our route through Guangxi will depend on the amount and severity of flooding. Hoppefully we'll have a view of this later today.