When we got to our hotel in Zigong last night it was clear that the locals are very proud of their dinosaur connection. Several animatronic dinosaurs graced the lobby, and there were even gold sculptures of them set into the walls. Once we arrived at the Zigong Dinosaur Museum this morning I could see why. It’s the most impressive collection of dinosaur fossils I’ve ever seen.
No one’s quite sure how they ended up buried in the rock here. One theory is that they all washed down river in a massive flood. Another is that there was arsenic in the food supply. Either way, there’s certainly a lot of them. Half the museum is a walkaway surrounding a craggy rock floor littered with bones, and the other half is a big room with around 15 reconstructed fossils ranging from a small stegosaurus that is nearly 100% complete to a massive long necked beast that would make Dippy, the dinosaur in the Natural History Museum in London, feel very inadequate.
Bobby and I dressed up as characters from ‘Jurassic Park’ and interviewed a curator (unlike most of our contributors in China she actually spoke to us in English) before I made another costume change and Bobby got to meet ‘Gameshow Man’. Our shoot ended with me tromping round the reception desk pretending to be a T-Rex, which some of the visiting kids seemed to enjoy, and the staff were very tolerant of. I’d love to know what goes through their heads sometimes when the BBC arrives and then their preconceptions are shattered by the barrage of silliness that we unleash…
Once we’d posed for goodbye photos it was back on the road for a 3 hour trip to the capital of this region, Chengdu. I can remember very little of it as I bought an amazing travel cushion on the way out here and have been sleeping like a champion. Don’t judge me for missing the scenery – we’re not on holiday and I need energy to make this show!