We’re up early the next day to get to the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Centre. You have to get there early before the Pandas get too hot and have to retire to their air conditioned lounging rooms. (What they do in there is top secret Panda business).

They are awfully cute, and pull a ridiculous crowd to watch them munch bamboo for half an hour, camouflaged in their enormous enclosures. Once they’ve exhausted their daily quota, we go and see the wee baby pandas from behind the glass and watch an educational video about the Panda breeding scheme. Apparently, high tech insemination methods weren’t working effectively, and so the team of expert veterinarians and scientists developed a groundbreaking new method to assist the production of Panda sperm. This method is scientifically known as ‘Panda massage’. That’s right. Someone has a job as a Panda wanker.

We had one last mission for Chengdu; about ten years ago, Joe’s football team, Sheffield United, decided to make inroads into the Chinese football market and invested in the local Chengdu team, renaming it The Chengdu Blades. As soon as Chengdu made it onto our itinerary, Joe started planning his pilgrimage and plotting his merchandise shopping list. But as we spent the afternoon circling around and around looking for their home ground, we began to realise that perhaps they weren’t as big a deal as we first thought. We eventually found their homeground, a University ground on the outskirts, without even a badge or banner in sight. No where even to take a photo with Bob for the programme. Completely underwhelmed, we headed back to Yingchu’s, late for the dumpling lunch her brother had prepared us. No Chengdu Blades Mugs, Towels or Keyrings. Joe’s dreams of making the programme, dashed.

The next day, we go and pick up our bits from Toyota. The guys in the dealership are blown away by Bob, and tell us that Toyota enthusiasts in China would be prepared to swap it for a brand new Landcruiser (which are worth about 1.2 million Yuan - $180,000!) We think long and hard but decide you can’t put a price on love. Then spend the rest of they day talking about how good it would be to do the trip in a brand new Landcruiser.

We visit the Dujianyan Dam, which isn’t really a dam, but a diversion of water that was built hundreds and hundreds of years ago for irrigation, and is still in practical use today. We’re getting a bit over China’s signpost tourist attractions, the most interesting part is the photo gallery of famous people visiting the dam (such a gallery exists at any self-respecting tourist site in China).

We pull off the expressway and into a village at about 7pm, looking for a people-less place to camp, and finally find a hidden flat field and seek permission from a Chinese lady walking down the road from her days work with her husband. She suggests we camp next to the house, but we prefer to be away from people or risk spending the evening in a fit of charades as people try to make conversation with us (or ply Joe with Baijo).