Chongqing

After a good night on the train I arrived at my destination at 7:40 in the morning.IMG_2114 IMG_2116

It took me a while to find the baggage hold (called “left luggage”) and even longer to find the tourist information. Thank god they had one. Because the train station in Chongqing is huge compared to the one in Xi’an South.

I found the information after following the signs forever (and getting lost in the process) and asked there how to get to the zoo. I hadn’t read much before but I did look up what to do for the day in Chongqing. The zoo was number 6 on the top 10 list and also within the city limits. Perfect for a day trip.

As it turned out the zoo was only a 30 minutes metro ride away. But before going there it was time for breakfast. With no dinner the night before I was starving, so a noodle soup in a diner next to the train station was quite alright.IMG_2118 IMG_2117
Changing the metro line once, I was at the zoo in a flash.IMG_2119 IMG_2120 IMG_2121

The zoo appeared to me as the green lung of Chongqing. A large and lush areal within the city and full of doting grandparents. I fully enjoyed my day there just walking around, eating ice cream, watching animals and bonding with the locals.IMG_2124 IMG_2128 IMG_2131 IMG_2136 IMG_2137 IMG_2141 IMG_2142

 

The way back felt so much easier, like I have never done anything else.IMG_2143

I picked up my bag, got a taxi and with the help of another guy my driver also knew where to go.

Due to lack of water was the harbor in Chongqing closed and we had to get ferried upstream to Fengdu.IMG_2146

 

So the meeting point for the cruise guests was the national theater. 

After another half an hour and at a good rate (love the taxis here, taxometer is on and you have no problem. In China, no problem!), I was back in the organized world of tourist traveling.

I might have gotten a bit of a heart attack when for the first 20 minutes or so I only saw Chinese faces. But that changed when some western looking people arrived as well.

I took my seat and finally at 10pm I made it onto the ship, the Victoria Jenna.IMG_2148

 

I had booked a shared cabin which was empty on my entry (and stayed so for the trip). After a long shower I headed on the top deck for something to drink and some relaxation time. Yours, Pollybert

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Back on land

New day, same procedure. Wake-up call at 5:30 again and then off to the water lilies at 6am.
The boat had anchored next to a dock and from there it was a short walk over a high bridge in the woods to a large pond full of lilies. At least it looked like a pond but is probably a side arm of the Amazon.

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And look, I also saw a cayman really close. It looks very old and grey, in a way like a real monster.

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Then a bit a of shopping next to the dock (for this the boat always allows some time) and off to breakfast.
One more happening on the boat and this was to be the meeting of the Rio Negro and the Amazon. Look how beautifully they come together.

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Sylvia was severely disappointed because there was no sighting of the pink dolphin. She even noted that on the feedback letter.
The weather was awful while on the boat this morning, overcast and raining. At around noon we were back at the Hotel Tropical and took a taxi to our own Pousada Chez le roi. A beautiful little place in the better area of Manaus.
We left our luggage and were on the way to the local zoo Cigs. On the way we stopped for a pastel, some kind of phyllo, filled with meat and cheese and then fried. Super delicious!

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The zoo in Manaus is run by the military and here we saw all the animals we missed on our boat trip. Beautiful animals, and interesting to watch.

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After walking around for what felt like hours in the heat, because by now we had sunshine and at least 35 degrees again, we stopped for a break and Sylvia had some Açai. She liked it better in the south where it was served frozen, here it looks more like a soup.

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By 4:30 we made it back to our hotel and enjoyed the pool and the garden. A real oasis in the city.

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We had one more dinner in Manaus, shopped a bit and had an early night. The next day would start again with an early flight.
Yours, Pollybert