I started off this morning by going for a 8km run but, as ever, I got a little lost, and ended up running 12km…
I ran along the Yangtze River, from one bridge to the next, passing people practising Thai chi and dancing (a typical scene I see most most mornings) as well as large groups of people swimming in the river. After reaching the end of the footpath I turned around and ran back past the way that I had came. Easy. The real trouble started after 6km when I tried to head back to the hostel.
Away from the river are lots of roads which either don’t have names on at all, have similar names to the ones beside them or have exactly the same names as streets nearby. I took one of the 4 streets with the same name and headed in the completely wrong direction, having to use strava maps to find my way back…
After my run we got breakfast from the fruit stall nearby and walked back to the river to walk my run route from this morning. The park was a lot quieter now but there were still groups of people gathered in the shade of the trees along the pathways. Some were playing board games, others were practising musical instruments and some were even singing!
There was barely anyone outside of the shade, walking along the river and we realised why after about 30 seconds… It was so hot! By 11am it had already reached 34 degrees and it was meant to reach 38 degrees by the afternoon. We were sweating as soon as the sun hit us!
After our stroll we went to a street vendor for lunch and bought the most delicious fried rice dish that I’ve ever had. I’ve been wanting vegetable fried rice since getting to China but every time I’ve seen it in a menu it’s been egg fried or had meat in it. This time is was different. I was able to chose exactly what went into my food (Lots of veggies) and it tasted so good! I even went back for a second bowl of it half an hour later!
We got the bus to the train station after finishing lunch – along with our massive rucksacks- like pros. We knew exactly when and where to get off, and were so used to the train station systems (passport and ticket check, security scanning and searching) that we were through to our platform with lots of time to spare.
As soon as we got on the train we settled in for a long journey and caught up with our journal entries. We ate our snacks/ dinner; dried peas and tomato crisps (they were so tasty together! The dried peas tasted like mushy peas but had a crispy texture!) and two apples along with some other dried fruits.
By the time we had reached Chongqing station the sun had long set. We tried to find the metro station to catch the subway to our hostel but after 30minutes of walking we gave up and jumped in a taxi. We showed the driver the address we needed to get to and he said that he’d take us there for ¥30 (£3) so leah got in the back with her rucksack and I got in the front after putting my rucksack in the boot – the driver has originally tried to fit both of our rucksacks in the boot but it wouldn’t close properly and we didn’t trust the bit of rope that he was going to use to tie it down….
Driving around Chongqing at night was so nice! All of the buildings along the river front were lit up and the bridges were covered in lights as well. It made the whole place look like something out of a Christmas movie!
Unfortunately the taxi driver dropped us at the wrong hostel and left us stranded by the river side with our rucksacks…
We got out our phones to try to find out where we were using our map app when a couple came up to us and asked us if we needed any help. We told them the situation and they called the hostel for us asking for directions from where we were now. They were both really friendly and leah and I are ashamed to say now but we were really sceptical of them at first.
They spoke really good English and it seemed like fate or a complete rouse that they’d stopped and helped us. They were visiting Chongqing for few days from Beijing and going back home tomorrow so they were spending their last night on holiday helping complete strangers.
They told us that they would take us to meet the guy who owned our hostel who was waiting for us on the 11th floor of the near by shopping centre. Alarm bells started to ring for us both. We didn’t want to go to a secluded place with two random people off of the street but we really didn’t know where we were. We walked with them to the shopping centre and it was really busy so we relaxed a little bit, then we got to the elevator and it was rammed so we Leah and I made the decision to go with them to the 11th floor as long as there was other people still in there with us..
After a few minutes we were up on the 11th floor- the top of the shopping centre- with the couple, along with hundreds of other people because it was another street level- we’d just got the elevator up a massive cliff face!
The owner of our hostel came and met us as we said goodbye to the nicest couple and we followed him back to the hostel.
Well it wasn’t really a hostel so much as an apartment in an office block, with a few spare rooms…
We’d booked 4 nights off of booking.com but the accommodation did not meet the description at all! We were meant to have a twin room with a balcony and an ensuite- we had a bunk bed which had barely any wooden slacks supporting the top bunk, one bathroom between the whole flat which was literally a hole in the floor with a shower head on top, and a bay window with a window that wouldn’t close… There wasn’t anywhere to lock away valuables, the room to our door wouldn’t lock and the light switch to the room was outside in the hallway… There was also only one key to get into the apartment meaning that either he had the key or we had it… Needless to say that we immediately started looking for other hostels for the rest of our stay.
We explained this all to the hostel owner who understood, it’s a shame because he was really nice and the hostel was in a great location! I