Thursday, August 27, 2009


Yeah, we are still telling stories from the first day of our 3-day trip to the Henan Province - I warned you that it was a full day. After seeing the kungfu show, Shaolin Temple, and then wandering through the pagoda forest it was time to head up Songshan - one of the 5 sacred mountains that exist within China.

We wander over to the cable car that take you up to, what we thought was, the top of the mountain. This was a long ride that went up over one peak, dropped into a valley, and then up to the top of another peak. Once we started to cross the valley we were engulfed in fog.
But these clouds were fast moving, as we climbed up the mountain we could watch them wisp around, clear up, and then fully surround you in white again. We managed to see some of the mountain from time to time and we were hoping the it would clear up once we got to the top.
When we got off the cable car we looked around at a lot of white nothing, it's had to say that we were impressed. From there we could see that there was still a lot higher to go and our guide started down the path leading away from the landing.
We walked for maybe 45 minutes or so, up and down more steps then you could count with only a few chances to see anything. Our guide told us we were just walking to a bridge, but it was just too much and when we rested Tina decided that since we couldn't actually see anything that it was time to head back instead of struggling up more steps. I felt that the skies were going to clear any minute and when she asked some other people walking back they said that the bridge was only another 10-15 minutes ahead. I opted to kind of run ahead while Tina started to head back, the guide followed along with me since it had been years since she had actually climbed Songshan.

Ten minutes later and we ware at the suspension bridge, but with no such luck of the fog clearing out.
To get an idea of how it looks on a clear day take a look at photos of people who were lucky enough to be there with nice weather here and here. As soon as we turned around to head back the skies opened up, only with rain instead of nice blue skies. As we wandered back, completely drenched from the rain, the clouds would clear up slightly from time to time and allow us to see some of the scenery.
Tina was now about 15-20 minutes ahead of us on heading back to the cable car, so when the skies cleared up for her she was able to get some good photos...
I was never able to see the side of the mountain as clear as Tina captured in those photos, but I got to walk halfway across a suspension bridge where you could barely see 2 meters in front of you, so we're even. Again, other people managed to go on clearer days and I'll link another photo so you can see a better view of where we were hiking.

Finally back down of the mountain at dusk and we head back to the hotel. We were located kind of in the middle of nowhere, and there was still the torrential downpour going on, so it was just an easy night with a quick meal down in the hotel restaurant while all of our wet items were spread throughout the hotel room with the hopes that they would dry before we had to pack everything up in the morning. Yeah, they didn't dry.

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