Huangshan Day 3

Continued from Huangshan Day 2 Part 2.

We did not wake up at the ass crack of dawn to see the sunrise that everyone comes to Huangshan to see. I don’t get it, but Asians are really big on sunrises. Too early for us. We slept in until around 9. Felt good.

Oh crap…My shutter on my camera seems to be stuck…

The shutter kept on getting delayed…Shit! My camera broke!!!

Well…actually it didn’t. I had set the camera on a 2 second shutter delay last night for the long exposure night photo and forgot to turn it back to normal. Oops.

There, all good now. And more good news, the fog has lifted this morning and we can actually see the mountain! Also in other good news, my ankle seems to be walkable today! It hurts some, but I think it’ll be fine…though, I did almost twist it again during the first 5 minutes of hiking this morning…

Our plan today is to do some moderate hiking, about the same as yesterday, then get off the mountain by early afternoon. That’s the plan anyway.

So glad the fog is much much lighter today.

There is no avoiding stairs.

I took this photo of RL standing on the cantilevered walkway. When I reviewed this photo on the computer, I realized that half of the staircase was attached to a giant piece of rock that was about to slide off. Some day, that rock will slide off and take along the stairs, and whoever is standing on the stairs, with it.

Heading towards Xihai Canyon.

Look! Half of that rock wall is about to fall off!!

That’s a long way down…and the only way down is by stairs. Ugh. Our legs are starting to feel like noodles. Our quads are burning!!

Feel the burn!!

Where we came down from.

Wow! This part of the mountain is even more beautiful than the other side.

Tired of all these stairs, but no where to go but down.

A bit of good news. They had just not too long ago built a new cable car at the bottom of the Xihai Canyon that will take you back up!! Of course, this cable car is not listed on any of our maps.

It looks even more amazing in real life.

After literally an hour of walking down stairs, we finally see the cable car. It’s really a funicular. We’ve still got a very long way to go…

I think we’ve walked more stairs today than this whole past month of travel.

Why are we not getting any closer!!

So close, yet, so far!

Thank the lord, we made it down to the funicular station!!! That was an hour and a half of hiking, consisting almost entirely of going down stairs. Our legs are done!

And guess who we ran into at the funicular station!? The Austrian couple G and E who we met yesterday on the bus! What a coincidence!

On our way back to the top of the mountain.

RL with E and G. When we reached the top, we had all decided to hiking together to this spot called Fairy Bridge. The four of us all hit it off very well. It’s great meeting new friends on the road!

To our dismay, what I thought would be a relatively flat hike to Fairy Bridge turns out to be just as hilly as our previous hike. Shit!!


Having some traveling companions does keep my verbal complaints about the stairs to a minimum though. RL is happy about this.

Finally, we see the bridge. Yup, we just spent another 40 minutes of going up and down stairs…then later we’ve gotta spend another 40 minutes going back….

Not a good place to drop your camera.

They had built a little gazebo out of rocks across from the Fairy Bridge.

I was a little surprised at how few people were out here. We only saw a handful of other hikers over here. I guess most of the people stay towards the center of the mountain.

And now, we take just as many steps to get back to where we came from.

Our new friends had spent 3 months trekking in Nepal before this, so they are in much better shape than us. RL and I were struggling a little to keep up.

Back to the central area of the mountain. One of the first thing we see is a broken toilet getting haul down the mountain by human power. Nice.

It was here that we parted ways with our new friends. They are heading back to the hotel where they’ll be spending another night on the mountain. They were the first travelers we’ve met so far on this trip for us to exchange contact info with. Hopefully one day they’ll come visit Austin and we can show them around.

Now that we are absolutely exhausted, it’s time to walk around the top of the mountain and make a beeline for the other cable car down the mountain.

I may have been mistaken. This is the only route to the cable car, and a route that I thought would be relatively flat…

Shit…it’s nothing be more stairs here.

….We need to go down stairs to over there, then hike back up at the edge of the mountain….SHIT!!!! We are both exhausted and we don’t want to climb anymore stairs. But, there is no other way to go but forward. It’s the only way to get off this mountain.

Our legs may have been beaten, but our spirits have not.

The mountain top we just walked down from.

Finally made it down, now time to go back up.

Legs, work!

Finally!! We see the cable car, that’s the good news. The bad news is that we now have to climb back down stairs to reach it.

Yeah…that looks really safe. I am sure it passed safety inspection with flying colors.

Made it to the cable car!!!!! YES!!!!! This photo shows the entire length of the line, so essentially no wait!

It feels so good to sit down. Our legs are absolutely destroyed. We ended up doing a lot more hiking today than we had originally planned. We climbed about 5 hours worth of steps. Legs are going to be hurting for the next few days.

Crazy how those trees just grow out of cracks in the rocks.

Got off the cable car.

Only to be greeted with more stairs.

And more stairs.

Finally reached the first bus to take us down the mountain. We are trying to make either a 3:30pm or 4pm second bus that will take us back to Huangshan City.

Even though it was an extremely exhausting day, we had an absolute blast today. Hiking the spectacular Huangshan has been one of the highlights for us on our honeymoon!!

Got off the mountain and off the first bus, and now time to board our second bus.

Managed to catch the 3:30 bus!

This is very questionable meat, it does not require refrigeration…Yes, we did eat this. You actually see a lot of people eating these(as well as the shrink-wrapped chicken legs, chicken feet, etc). It wasn’t very good though. Tasted like pasty ham/turkey.

Our 3:30pm bus didn’t get all the way filled up, so it drove around the block, and went to another bus station. Then we all had to get off the bus and wait for other people to show up. So much for catching the earlier bus.

Again, we got shafted with the seat on top of the wheel arch bump.

Slept much of the bus ride, and now we are back in Huangshan City!

We hiked all day, and didn’t have lunch yet. Time to find a bite to eat. We are staying in the same hotel as two nights ago.

Our hotel recommended this Korean BBQ place and gave us a coupon for a free dish.

We are hungry, so we went all out on ordering. Believe it or not, we ate almost everything that we ordered.

All the fat drippings at the bottom after we had finished eating.

Then some pretty expensive Haagen Dazs for after dinner dessert. The ice cream was almost $8 each!! But, green tea ice cream in Asia is the best!!

After dinner, we decided that soaking in a bathtub of hot water while watching the newest episode of Game of Thrones on the laptop sounded like heaven, so that’s what we did. Heaven indeed.

To be continued at Nanjing Day 1.

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