Huangshan / Yellow Mountains

The Yellow Mountains is a major tourist attraction in China. My guidebook says that "it should be on the itinerary of every traveller in China." Still I was the only Westerner in sight. (I went about 10 days without seeing another westerner.)

The original plan was to take the cable car up part way but they had a problem with it so walking was the only way. It didn't look too bad at first...

Maggie's father had warned us to be careful. Sometimes the path was narrow and usually there were no guardrails.

And a step off the path was often a very long way down.

Then we got into the unrelenting steps. We also had to work our way around the people who carry everything up each day. We saw people carrying food, water, oil, coal, soft-drinks etc. This is what keeps the hotels and restaurants on the top running!

When they stop to rest, you get your best chance to get around. It's still tough because they're wider than the path in most places. I told maggie that if her job as a shipping manager gets tiring, she could try this job. She didn't seem that interested....

If you look closely at the wide view below:

You can find this - a fairy table.

Why are all these bags propped up here? Because the building in the background is the only toilet on the way up.

Maggie and I take a rest.

This sign says that Deng Xiaoping had a brief rest here on his way up the mountain. That was when he was 75 years old. I hope I can get up the mountain which just one brief rest when I'm 75! (I'll be happy if I can get up the mountain at all!)

A pine tree that is naturally banzai'd due to where it grew.

Still more up

And more.

At this point we started approaching the rain clouds and the rain started approaching us.

All the fog obscured the far views so you'll being seeing lots of pictures of steps and paths.

A monk

Two monks. I took these pictures with my camera in my lap so no one would be self-conscience. Fortunately I didn't end up with a picture of my finger or my knee as I often do when I try that trick.

People come here to "tie the knot" except that the Chinese use a padlock instead.

Here's a close up. It's said that if you want a divorce, you have to come back and remove your lock. However, that turns out to be nearly impossible because they get so many locks here that the park employees remove thousands to make room for more people to add theirs.

A Stone Pavilion

This would have been a great view if we could see more than 30 feet!

Still more up.

Maggie is waiting for a slow photographer to take a picture of those other two.

And she started to fall asleep standing up.

Finally we got our turn.

These photos are particularly eery - it looks like we're walking off the edge of the mountain.

Huge Legendary Turtle Rock

It was so nice to finally be going down after 1860 meters of up! One of the problems I had was that my big American feet are longer than the steps are deep. Going up it didn't seem too strange to be walking on my toes, but going down with my toes hanging over felt strange.

And down...

and down into caves...

and back out...

More people emerging from the cave.

This picture demonstrates an advantage of digital cameras, You don't get caught holding your film in your mouth. I didn't even notice that when I took that picture. I just like the edge of the world feel.

Another place for a brief rest...

Before some more up... "Wo~ zui\ xi~huan xia\" (I like down the most!)

If you get too tired, there are people who will carry you down. We saw some people bargaining with one of these guys but they didn't agree on a price.

However, this guy apparently did. I don't think you'd want to bargain these guys down too far because they might trip and it's a long way down!

A fairy bridge

I managed to annoy Maggie into smiling by taking forever to take this picture :-)

And I think I'm tried???

Suddenly after a foggy day, we started to get some breaks in the clouds!

Wow! Blue sky!

Wen Shu Tai - the stage for Buddha Wen Shu

Here's a fun place to look over the rail. (At least it has a rail!) It's about a mile down.

We had to run back to this place when we got blue skies and wait for Maggie's turn to pose. (You can see more padlocks at the bottom.)

Elephant rock - The elephant is the beast that Buddha Wen Shu rides.

Maggie poses very carefully.

She looks perfectly comfortable with a huge drop to her left and behind her.

We came up that path.

Some examples of Huangshan pine. The Chinese like the character of Huangshan pine because it grows in the rocks and hard conditions.

That's part of the path running across the middle. It took a lot of work to make these trails.

Now we're heading down towards another cable car to take us down. I asked Maggie what would happen if it wasn't running either. She said that I must be running because otherwise we wouldn't get back down in daylight.

There's part of the cable car run. It runs off the end of the photo in both directions.

Yes it's working!

Going down... (views out the window)

The photo doesn't give a good sense of scale. Those things that look like weeds are really large trees.

and down... here we skirt along the side of the mountain for awhile.