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kiting, diving, trippin' I ain't never been lost, just confused for a few days - Daniel Boone

Huangshan - Yellow Mountain

CHINA | Tuesday, 20 May 2008 | Views [16051] | Comments [4]

The original way around here was on steps cut in to the side of the face and holding a chain hanging off the wall. No fun nowdays

The original way around here was on steps cut in to the side of the face and holding a chain hanging off the wall. No fun nowdays

After a three hour trip through some fairly scenic country over a heap of rivers and through a heap more tunnels, (this is why the people in Sichuan couldn't get in or out - same road system) I ended up in Tuxin then got the shuttle up to Tangkou. A local guy by the name of Mr Hu has a knack of finding travellers and offering to help out with meals, accomodation and tickets. And does a good job of it too. I can recommend him.

The plan was to get a ride to the temple near the base and walk up the east steps, look around and come back down the west steps next day. Yeah right.

Right from the start I had an idea this might be a bit too much for the time I had when I'm meeting people coming down off the moutain pulled up resting. And they were coming down! The track is well marked and mostly concrete steps, but if it's not going up it's going back down, which only means you've got to go back up again. I did most of the side tracks and had a good look around, ate all the fruit and drank the 2 litres of water, and that was just over half way up.

When I did get to the top I met up with some west Australians and had a beer with them, just before I found my bed for the night and crashed in to it. The thing with this mountain is that it is popular for it's sunrises so an hour or so before daylight the hordes awoke and made sure everyone else did too. Off they marched to the meteorological station which is the second highest point by about 20m to see the sun break through the fog laced with a healthy dose of smoke. A lot of peaks break through the layer of fog and it was definitely a kodak moment.

I took off then to go and have a look at an area called Xihai (west sea) before the crowds got there and started their whooping to get a kick out of the echoes in the canyon. This was one serious little walk too. From around 1650m at the summit the steps take you down to 600m and the only way out is back up to 1650m again. I'm about half way around and looking at these concrete steps built in to the side of sheer cliffs when it dawned on me that this may not be the smartest place to be with the earthquakes and tremors rocking the country at the moment. The main one wasn't even felt over this way so I suppose this mountain range is on a different fault line. Beijing is roughly the same distance and they felt it though. Anyway I got down in to the bottom of the canyon via some pretty well built, though steep, steps and thought about the walk back out when the whooping started. The first whooping echo had me jump when a bloody squirrel in the tree I was sitting under took off with fright. I wont tell you what he got christened but he went one way and I went another in bit of a hurry.

I made it back out via some steep steps, tunnels, more steep steps, a few weird little 'fairytale' bridges, some steps hanging off the side of a cliff and a few more steep steps. This is around the time the hordes of tourists show up, via cable car and a half hour walk. There were literally hundreds of them, all heading to the top while I'm trying to get off the mountain. The highest point, Lotus Peak, was closed so I went straight to the west steps side, took the wrong turn and ended up at the cable car (this is my story and I'm sticking to it) so I thought this is a sign and that's how I got off the mountain.

Definitely worth a good look around but with more than the two days I allowed for it. 

Maybe I'll go back for another look, but there is just so much to see in this country. We'll see. 

Comments

1

This sure sounds like one good exercise program Gazza!
Count me out - I'll head for the cars and just enjoy the views! So pleased you weren't there when the earth shook!

  Cath May 21, 2008 9:47 PM

2

Gary - you can jolly well have this on your own mate - vut it looks stunning. However it is wonderful to know that you are getting everything out of being in China. Harry and I want to know your exact geographical address because we want to check you out on a map (and we might want to send you some vegemite!! or Tim Tams.). Felt you were not in the earthquake region but not at all sure. It was interesting that the President thanked people (not western ) for help with the quake - think this shows a wonderful new way of thinking (maybe). Lady I know working in Shaanxi here ina couple of weeks and we will have another fundraiser for her (she looks after "left behind kids" as I have told you before. Don't think she actually gets to look around at all. Anyway I will quiz her about things there. My hip improving (thankfully) as Harry just managed a retinal detachment (lost his vision), great dramas but finally had operation and vision back but pressure very high so we are using a different eyedrop to get this down - not sure when he will be bavck at work. take care, keep loving life, love Barb

  barbara May 22, 2008 5:39 PM

3

Dude - Awesome! Got a little freaked at your first pic... I'd be right there beside you! Asthmatic lungs and all... although I might meet you at the top just in time to see sunrise the next morning... or maybe that trek is what my lazy lungs need. Am watching a programme called Wild China on the BBC at the moment and it is amazing. Never thought I'd want to travel to China so bad! Keep havin fun dude!

  Moz May 27, 2008 7:52 AM

4

hey mate, how awesome you've been here! I visited this area on my way down china about a year before you were there! Never thought of earthquakes while there and I guess that's what you do best...

  chris Jul 14, 2008 3:21 AM

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