Day 31: August 22nd
We had an early flight to catch the next morning. Jiuzhaigou Valley is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan, China. Jiuzhaigou Valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and stretches over 72,000 hectares. As we were flying in, we could see the mountains and they were beautiful. Craggy shaped peaks, completely stark and bare. It was impressive. Bill and I had heard a lot about this place and it has been on our radar for a number of years now…we were excited to finally be going there.
The airport is around 85 km from the village…as that was the closest spot that an airport could be built! After a long but scenic drive to our hotel, we decided to take it easy for the day. A nap later, we headed to a restaurant next door for a late lunch. All trip long, my dad kept mentioning to Bill that he wanted to try some Chinese Baijiu. For those who don’t know what that is…it is Chinese ‘white liquor’ distiller from sorghum or any other grain and is very popular at weddings and other banquets…the catch? It is normally between 40% to 60% alcohol. I have managed to avoid it till now but since we were having a relaxed day, why not spice it up a bit! I can imagine the surprise on the waitresses face when Bill order four servings of Baijiu. After some pictures and the usual noise, we finally downed it! While it tasted like turpentine and was hard to go down, I managed to get it down and the have a lot of water! Not for long though…. In about 3 minutes, the contents of my stomach, lunch included were on the sidewalk! 🙂 Not my finest moment….especially since both my parents managed to keep their drink down. Haha!
Not much excitement for the rest of the day..we walked around a bit. Since the village is in the mountains, it was much cooler and certainly more pleasant to walk around. All in all, it was nice to have a day off from sightseeing!