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Old 2nd July 2008, 14:20   #16
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I'm waiting for the part where you have to come down the steps. that hurts even more.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 14:25   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolphin View Post
Suddenly I hear and see something falling down the steps. It comes to rest near my feet.
Voila! It’s a walking stick.

Some climber dropped it accidentally maybe. I pick it up. My intention is to give it back. I climb looking out for someone waiting with a smiling face to take back the stick. But I encounter no one. I climb. Still no one. I keep the stick. My prayers were answered. Was I happy!

That’s me with my gift from heaven: The walking stick!
Man this part really sounds like something from the movie "Crouching Dolphin, Hidden Stick"


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Originally Posted by Dolphin View Post
I was shocked on what I saw next. There are these men climbing, carrying on their shoulders 2 baskets full of vegetables and groceries hooked on to 2 opposite ends of a flat bamboo cane. Each basket would easily weigh around 15 Kg.

They were climbing with a particular technique and rhythm, swaying forward and backward.
Look at us, we are not able to carry our own weights and these fellows are carrying such monstrous mass.

I just couldn’t digest what I saw. Later came to know that these groceries were for the hotels in the mountain. They employ these men to save costs, rather than using the cable cars to transport vegetables and other food stuff.

What a hard way to earn a living.
There's a temple shrine called Sabarimala - groceries for millions of pilgrims every day are carried up in a similar fashion, though they also use Donkeys for the purpose.


Keep going (EDIT: CLIMBING!), Dolphin!

Last edited by Steeroid : 2nd July 2008 at 14:27.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 14:39   #18
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Awesome Travelogue and photos. Keep em coming.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 15:05   #19
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Thanks Akroy.

Here we go-

After relaxing for about 30 mins on the summit, we are informed that the actual sight seeing begins from here. So people, more climbing to do. Now we move from summit to summit! Awh! You people carry on, we will wait for you here. Chinese say, We are not coming back. We move on by taking new routes.

Maybe they are getting even with us for something we did in office by making us climb.

We have no choice but to follow them.

We move on. The turpentine smell of the pine trees is amazing. The pine trees are of all shapes. It is one of the unique features of Huangshan Mountain. The next 3-4 hrs is climbing, a little climbing down and then lots of climbing up. When is this going to end!

Snaps clicked on the way:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0174-large.jpg
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Finally at 3 P.M., after viewing some stunning sceneries on the way (This trial had a few walking stretches), we reach a hotel situated in the midst of small hills. The location is wonderful. Itís like a little heaven.

We sit on the front steps of the hotel and relax. There is a stream flowing in front of the hotel and a old bridge across it leads to a wall. There are steps (again) near the wall which lead to a pretty big restaurant.

You can see the bridge in the background:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0227-large.jpg

Suddenly we see many people waving and running towards something on the opposite side. We get up and look. Itís Kofi Annan!

He is surrounded by many men. He is walking. We desperately want a photo. We all look at each other. Who will run and get a photo?

Everyone is exhausted. At last, Mondy and Jai decide to make the run. They dash towards Kofi Annan, across the bridge, up the wall. Itís too late. He is whisked away. No photo. Damn.

You can see a person with a red cap in the following snap, that is where Kofi Annan was walking:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0232-large.jpg

Due to lot of bookings and lack of rooms, we get rooms with bunk beds to sleep on.
I have never slept at the top in a bunk bed, so I take the top one.

A snap of the bunk beds:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0235.jpg
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Old 2nd July 2008, 15:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvnagan View Post
Awesome Travelogue and photos. Keep em coming.
Thanks vvnagan. Still more to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Man this part really sounds like something from the movie "Crouching Dolphin, Hidden Stick"
Man this is too good. How could this flash to you.

I know Sabarimala but the same way to transport groceries, I didnít know.


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Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
I'm waiting for the part where you have to come down the steps. that hurts even more.
Bulls eye! You said it.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 16:13   #21
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Originally Posted by Dolphin View Post
Awh! You people carry on, we will wait for you here. Chinese say, We are not coming back. We move on by taking new routes.
So this was planned in advance!!!
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Old 2nd July 2008, 16:23   #22
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@Dolphin
1)
Great story with equally good description. Would like to know more.
Keep it up!
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Old 2nd July 2008, 17:06   #23
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We throw away our things in the room and our team sets out again, this time to experience what everyone is waiting for, the phenomenal characteristic of the Huangshan Mountain, the Sea of Clouds!

We are climbing to what is known as the West Sea Cloud Area. It is also known as some Pavilion, I donít remember. They say that the view here during sunset is breathtaking. We just hope that there would be clouds. This is not the right season for this actually.

Soon we reach very high altitude, probably one of the highest points on the mountain. Everyone is disappointed. No clouds.

The steep valleys are bare, embraced by greenery but not clouds. Nevertheless the scenery is marvelous. The V-shaped deep valleys are scary and steep, the rock formation is artistic, mystic and grotesque. The peaks are like horns.

Snaps:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0246-large.jpg
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The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0284-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0292-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0293-large.jpg

The walk in the clouds, the islands in the sea are all left for us to imagine.

Not to disappoint you all, I have borrowed a couple of snaps of the Huangshan Sea of Clouds from China Odyssey Tours.
Look at what we missed:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-clouds_2-large.jpg
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We move on, taking different routes that have a common meeting point. We go through many natural tunnels and caves. Some parts of this climb are really dangerous.
The steps and the railings are all made of concrete and iron:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0262-large.jpg
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The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0269-large.jpg
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The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0289-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0290-large.jpg

The following snap is from another travelogue on the net. This climb was awesome and scary. We did this stretch also. Due to some problem with the camera at that time I couldnít click this. How the hell did they build this man!
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We come across many wishing ponds. I want to endeavor. I throw a coin and wish for strength to continue the trip. I am falling in love with the mountain.
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0255-large.jpg

Itís getting dark, we return. For dinner, we go to the restaurant on the other side of the stream. The restaurant is pretty luxurious. Luckily they have English menu. We order rice and 2 other egg and vegetable dishes. (I really canít recall their names.)

The restaurant and the menu:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0323-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0326-large.jpg

The food is delicious. The prices are a bit on the expensive side. Having seen how the vegetables were being brought earlier in the day, itís hard to complain about the price. Itís the only restaurant around. The service is friendly.

Our hotel in the evening:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0322-large.jpg

After all the climbing I am exhausted to the core and I now canít differentiate my body from pain. It was hardly an easy day. We are informed that tomorrow morning we have to be ready at 5 A.M.

These people are crazy! I canít get up so early with all that I have been through today.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 17:42   #24
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Wow dolphin the pics are awesome. Its worth what you went through though
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Old 2nd July 2008, 19:41   #25
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Great pics Dolphin! why did you stop? I cant keep refreshing this page all night. start posting man!
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Old 2nd July 2008, 23:58   #26
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Nice writeup and very good pics...keep them coming
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Old 3rd July 2008, 06:30   #27
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Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Wow dolphin the pics are awesome. Its worth what you went through though
You are right. It was really worth all the hardship.

The initial climb upto the first summit was the culprit, if we had taken the cable car we would have been better off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
Great pics Dolphin! why did you stop? I cant keep refreshing this page all night. start posting man!
Thanks rippergeo.
My 51st post went through without the, ďThanks for posting. Your post will not be visible until a moderator has approved...Ē message flashing. I suddenly realized that my status has changed from Newbie to BHPian. Man was I happy! Made myself a drink, gulped it down and slept happily as if I had won a free trip to Hawaii. cheers:

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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Nice writeup and very good pics...keep them coming
Thanks Saurabh.
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Old 3rd July 2008, 12:00   #28
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
@Dolphin
Great story with equally good description. Would like to know more.
Keep it up!
Thanks aaggoswami.

Moving on-

We all hit the bunk and instantly I drift away. This bed is like fantasy of comfort for me.

Suddenly I see light and hear voices. A Chinese colleague has switched on the lights and is yelling, Wake up, wake up, get ready.
What the heck! I see the time, its 3 A.M. I just slept didnít I?

Some are whining and some pay no heed, they are snoring away to glory. We tell the Chinese guys to carry on, we want to sleep. The tape plays again.

We are not coming back here. We take another route.

Oh man! We somehow drag ourselves out of bed. I go to the bathroom and see a long queue there. The bathroom is pretty grubby.
I ainít getting no **** here!

No option, I wait, freshen up on my turn and am ready at 5 A.M. exact. By this time Mondy knows that there are 2 bottles of beer in his bag and is angry about it. You guys used me.

He has carried them for almost half the trip. He agrees to carry them further as we plead guilty. Great guy.

We all set out in a hurry. Itís still a little dark. We now know that we are climbing to some kind of a high raised spot nearby or a peak maybe where we can see the sunrise. The sunrise is at 5.50 A.M.

The steps are steep. Some are eroded and some are not broad at all. Itís getting hard for me to climb. I have no choice. There are many people climbing, all are scrambling in a hurry. No one wants to miss the first peep of the Sun.
In a wagon pulled by 2 rows of 3 horses each, my situation is like the horse in the middle.

We reach the spot and settle down. There are many people here, cameras in their hands, in anticipation of the crimson ball. Far away on the horizon, I see a tall and a short mountain, like a fat boy and a slim girl standing next to each other. The Sun would come out there somewhere.

This better be good or else I am gonna whack everyone.

Everyone starts cheering and clapping. Whatís happening?
The sun peeks out on the horizon. Itís coming up slowly in its entire splendor.

Boss gets excited. He is a big movie fan. He wants to look like his favorite hero now. He is pestering us, flashing his camera at us and asking one of us to take his photographs with the rising sun as the background. To fulfill what he wants, it would take a professional camera with a professional photographer. We are pissed off. He gets it now.

What the hell man. We got up at 3, and have staggered here tearing all muscles. Rather than enjoying the sunrise, you want us to take your photos with the sun rising up your mouth, nose, ears, eyes and what not, so that you would look like some filmy hero in a dumb filmy poster!

Hmm Boss is angry and sad. He doesnít say anything, just turns towards the sun and starts taking photos.

Enjoy the sunrise photos:
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0329-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0330-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0331-large.jpg
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The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0334-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0336-large.jpg
The Magnificent Yellow Mountain: Of Beauty & Sweat-img_0339-large.jpg
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Old 3rd July 2008, 12:18   #29
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Dolphin,

Thats an amazing travelogue, and the photos are lovely. Loved the photos of the clouds and of course the sunrise. Looks awesome. Neat write up man.
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Old 3rd July 2008, 12:22   #30
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Wonderful trip. I am absolutely glued to this thread. Good to know that the Chinese also enjoy these things. Somehow from the outside you get this image of a country under total government control, etc.
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