...still couldn't bring out the morning sun glow on the mountains under the blue clear sky into a frame as much as I had seen it with my eyes. It was awesome.
23.12.2011 - 02.01.2012
View Beauty and the Freeze on automidori's travel map.
Jiuzhaigou, December 26th 2011
In the middle of the night I woke up. I rubbed my forehead with my hand. I was sweating! What? Is it noon already? Did I oversleep?? Oh, no! That can't happened! Jiuzhaigou National Park is my biggest plan. If I don't go today, there won't be another day. Not in this trip.
I jumped out of bed. I was sweating all over my body. Thinking it was late in the afternoon already, I walked to the window to check out. My left hand pushed the curtain while my right hand leaned on the wall. Ouch! It was like a wall of ice! Furthermore, the only thing I could see through the window was a complete black. B-L-A-C-K. I checked the clock on my cellphone. 2:14 something ... AM! Hah, I sighed. I thought it was 2:00 PM already. But why am I sweating then?
I found out that the temperature of the electric blanket wasn't even. It's very hot in the middle, but not so outwards. Apparently I had been rolling to the middle. Thus, with my double and triple outfits, plus a sleeping bag, I became overheated.
I stripped off my jeans and sweater, and threw my sleeping bag aside. I continued my sleep with no difficulty.
Hello, Jiuzhaigou! Good morning! With all the sweat I had had in the middle of the night, I couldn't help to change my mind and head to the shower.
The first thing I was excited to do was putting on my new winter shoes.
No matter what, I was determined to have a real meal this morning. No more instant noodles. The side of the street of my hostel was quieter than yesterday. The big restaurant was closed and in complete silence. The shops that sold bags, clothes, and where I bought my winter shoes, were closed.
I crossed the street. There were a few shops, not yet opened also. I continued to walk.
There is only one main road here. Guest houses, hostels, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, mini markets, all lined up along both side of the road. They all have the same door design and painting. It had been like that along the road since two three hours before we arrived here yesterday. For one like me with a weak sense of direction, it's kind of confusing. It gets worse if you cannot read the Chinese characters written on top of each shop or restaurant, because all you see would look even more alike.
Ah, there's a restaurant here. Photos of the menu were stuck on the wall. I stood outside by the glass door examining the menu. There was one that looked enticing and had the Chinese character of "beef" under it. The rest of the characters I didn't understand. Before I could think further, an old man wearing an apron was already in front of me. He pushed the door aside.
"Jìnqù, jìnqù!" He gave me a big smile.
I tried my best to tell him in Mandarin that I wanted the dish on that photo. He nodded several times and said something rapidly.
"Duìbùqǐ wǒ bù shuō zhōngwén," I replied.
The old man laughed out loud.
This was a small restaurant. Beside me there was only one young couple savoring on a bowl of hot porridge. Even inside the restaurant, it was chilly. I pressed my knees tight and folded my hands with my thick hand gloves on. Went this couple left, they didn't slide the door back close. Brrr... I could feel the gentle but freezing wind swiping my shinbone.
Here's my breakfast. This is my second trip to China and so far the best breakfast I ever had in China. The spicy flavour... oh yes, it's Sichuan cuisine, of course! I ordered for a glass of hot tea also. Like in my hostel, the tea became cold within minutes. But it was good.
For lunch later in the park, I ordered for fried rice. With the help of Berlitz Chinese Mandarin Phrase Book, I managed to convey my message to this friendly old guy.
According to an article I read on the internet, there are 2 prerequisites to survive the high altitude. First, keep away from getting dehydrated. Second, have a full breakfast. Since last evening I had taken care of prerequisite number one. In spite of hating going to the bathroom because it felt like a freezer, I kept this rule. Now, I think I have kept the second: a full breakfast.
Hence, it's time to continue my routine on almost every trip: A morning walk.
This is the river that ran along the main road near my hostel. The view of this river was much, much, greater during my 10 hours bus ride from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou the day before. Blue-green river running in and out valleys of snow-capped and some frozen water at the brim... for me, was certainly worth the 10 hours bus ride.
On my next, next, next... post to come, I'll show you the glory of this river in very early morning among the deep high valleys. The scenery on that way back to Chengdu was even more breathtaking -- amidst of the freezing cold. Ah ya, I haven't told you enough how freezing was freezing!
A week before I left for Jiuzhaigou, the weather forecast predicted that Jiuzhaigou would be cloudy on December 26th. However, praise the Lord, once again, the weather forecaster forecasts, but GOD creates. HE created bright, bright...super bright sunshine for Jiuzhaigou this morning.
I had tried several shots, but still couldn't bring out the morning sun glow on the mountains under the blue clear sky into a frame as much as I had seen it with my eyes. It was awesome.
This is my hostel: 九寨沟自游国际青年旅舍 or Jiuzhaigou Self Tour Youth Hostel which I mentioned a lot about the room in previous post. I booked through Agoda for 404,882 IDR for 2 nights. On the first floor is a mini market. The lady who attended this store wasn't like the man who did last night when I bought instant noodle. This time I wanted to buy a flask, because I thought carrying water in a plastic bottle in such a freezing land is a complete absurd, unless I intend to drink ice water which is even colder than the ice water from my refrigerator at home. But of course I didn't want just a flask. I wanted one with a design and color that suits my taste. Therefore I opened several boxes of the flasks on the shelf. There was one that I liked but the color was orange. Oh, I hate orange unless it's in the sky. Then there was a blue one, but only contained 350 ml which I think wouldn't be enough through the whole day. I did my best to return each flask into the box I've opened. However, the lady shopkeeper was clearly upset with me. I didn't understand what she said. She tapped on the boxes as if I had messed them up. Aaargh. At last I decided on a silver one that contained 500 ml. I was and still am, happy with this flask. I'm not happy by the way I was treated in this shop. Right after our transaction was done, she returned to her laptop. She was there when I came. Maybe my lingering in the shop had made her missed a favorite scene or show. When I returned from the park in the afternoon, she was still there. Daaa...
I returned to my room to boil water and put into my new flask. Ready for the park.