Day 3: Jiuzhaigou Hike
Our journey to Jiuzhaigou started with a packed and dangerous bus ride. When I stepped off the bus at the top of the valley, I stretched my limbs, inhaled a gigantic breath of FRESH air, and tried my best to ignore the students for a few moments to reflect on just how awesome my life is. My life is awesome! And it's awesome that I can see over everybody's head to enjoy this beautiful scenery. For the rest of the trip, I can't shut up about how excited I am- I'm sure to everyone's annoyance, but I don't care. I love my life!
Snapping back to my surroundings, a student's voice pipes up, "It smells weird!" I look around- no public toilets, no pooping babies, no burning oil from restaurants, nothing. I politely return, "That's the smell of pine needles, fresh air and nature! How can that smell weird!?" Not phased, she still thinks it smells "weird". We discuss the different smells of different places and decide that we've been in the Chengdu smells for too long.
We hiked 17 km through Jiuzhaigou Park! The student's were real troopers, and boy was I a little sore that night. Jiuzhaigou is absolutely breathtaking with its many colorful lakes and scenic views of mountains and waterfalls- one of the most beautiful places that I've ever seen! Parts of the hike reminded me of home in the pines of Bastrop. No giant pandas were spotted (no bamboo = no lazy bears), but we did eye a cute, little ground squirrel moving some dirt on the opposite bank of one of the smaller lakes. I also saw quite a few interesting species of birds!
My pictures are nothing compared to the real deal. Google image the park and you will find some amazing photos of the park that do the park a little more justice than I can!
Sorry for the lag in posts... I've tried to post this twice but my internet cuts out, and I stupidly hit "publish" and lose the whole thing.