They Call It Fairyland
Take a pot. Add an unemployed, over-zealous, over-educated mind. Season with prep school and near-ivy league. Let simmer in China. Bring to boil with a caseful of the Banquet beer (Coors Oringinal, to the heathens). Thus comes the following entries. [UPDATE: The following entry which has now been edited by a morning-after mind.]
There were months of expectations leading up to JiuZhaiGou... finally walking through the entrance gorge brought that same giddy expecation [EDITED BY AUTHOR]
Most of my time in China had been spent on foot. I know my feet. I trust them. They've been with me as long as I can remember. Things in China? Anythings? Well, most had no longer than a year of trust, if even that. Buses fall into that "less than" category.
So I ventured forth into JiuZhaiGou. On foot.
I would soon learn that the BUS would take me deep into the beauty of the park. And save me a lot of trouble.
But the story is in the adventure! And as I headed out, mind clouded from the previous night's dinner festivity, the road was long and winding. And first it brought me to a temple where I, the lone traveler, made conversation with a park ranger who illumintaed me unto the details of the park.
And lo, by myself, was I ignored by bus after bus as I futilly thumbed rides to the end point of the park. Lugging a small pack and venturinging wherever I might, the journey continued on.
Passing a few villages along the way, I eventually ventured down a path that took me over hill and dale, through waterfall and glen, and along the forgotten bank of lakes that kept themselves in private till they blossomed in excellence for the prim and proper of the spring season.
But I was alone.
And I took that path less traveled.
As you look upon the pictures that adorn this entry, note, they do no justice. This adventure brought so many colors, so many instances, so many paths and adventures... no one picture will ever capture the experience.
I trekked on. Over hill and dale. Hill. Lagoon. Dale. Chip. In the end, Time clocked in as god, and the experience had to end. Prematurely. Were it not for friends back in Harbin who deserved a final "Goodbye," I might have stayed a second day. But it wasnt in the cards. I headed to the gate via public bus. I hiked back to the long distance bus station. I boarded my ride home.
From ChengDu it was a straight shot to BeiJIng, from there to Harbin.