02.16.2013 - 02.17.2013 19 °F
This post is from a very long time ago and i finally have reliable enough interent to post it
We were supposed to wake up early today to see the sunrise but neither one of us could drag ourselves out of bed until 8am. Then we were kind of slow going and we eventually left a little before 10. It was mostly my fault though because I didn't charge my camera ahead of time and there was no way I was going up death mountain without having photographic evidence! We had asked the front desk service people about how to get to the bus that takes us to hua mountain but after wandering in a few circles in the rain we eventually just took a cab to the train station. We tried to buy a train ticket but they were sold out. Then we saw it. I think it is referred to death mountain because you die just trying to get there. I mean this bus we took was a complete dump. And full of old Chinese men and three girls our age. We got a seat in the back. These are our what are we doing on this bus faces
We kinda waited around for a while until we asked the girls next to us when we will leave. "When seats have no more opens" so pretty much when the bus completely full. Oh and could this bus driver, uhm...drive? Swerving in and out of traffic, honking like crazy, slamming on his brakes, going really fast. It was like he was on his own little private race course. I will admit, I was getting really nervous. By this point it was snowing and we had no idea how long the bus ride would take, how we would actually get to the mountain etc, and when we asked the girl sitting next to us she kept saying "no problems, you just get a hotel. No problems" we tried to explain that we had an early flight to Nanjing the next day and we didn't want to stay the night but she couldn't really understand. It wasn't until we were in the middle of nowhere that we realized the two girls in front of us wanted to climb the mountain and come back to Xi'an later that night as well. These two girls literally saved us. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing, where we were going. Nothing. If we didn't meet up with them we would probably still be at Hua Mountain.
Once we got dropped off we ordered some really cheap soup and bought some "supplies" which included a "fashion color poncho" and gloves with traction dots on the bottom. We were then told to take a cab to the bus station and buy the tickets for the bus up to the mountain. We caught the bus and 20 min later after driving up a long and windy road we made it. It was snowing sooooo hard. We bought our gondola tickets and crammed into these rusted tin bucket things. It is at this point, when you are hundreds of feet in the air, that you think of Chinas lack of quality control and you ask yourself "why in the hell would I trust this?" I asked the two girls if they were scared and they said no not at all. Ahhh communism will provide. By this point you couldn't even see the wire that was a few feet above us it was so foggy and snowy...and it was like this for about 10min. Dontfreakoutdontfreakout
We finallllyyyy made it to the climbing point. Here we stood shaking under the eaves trying to put on our fashion panchos over our backpacks and taking pictures. You really couldn't see much. One thing I've learned in china is that when you climb mountains, you actually just walk stairs. So in all honesty we walked the stairs of death mountain. There was even a hotel on top of one of the peaks. I would hate to have had to build that! We pretty much just played around on the mountain and took pictures.
it is also very common to inscribe your name on a lock and write a prayer on a ribbon so the whole mountain was scattered with them.
also... chinese people dont make snow angels and this is the look of confusion when you try and show them how to make one.
At one point or another we all took a spill. I was lucky enough to catch myself on the chain rail before I slid down a cliff, although my knees are now bruised and scraped it all worked out in the end.
We made it down the mountain
and back to the bus just in time to catch the bus home to Xi'an. All in all this day we took, 3 cabs, 5 busses, and 2 gondolas. All in about a 7 hour period. We all pretty much passed out on the bus ride home. When we got back to the rail station we ran across the street to eat at....McDonalds. I know I know, but here in China you eat at Mackies if you have money. For some strange reason I ordered a McFlurry even though I was freezing. I sat at a table next to this old man. Everything was fine till he hawked up the biggest nastiest sounding luggie and spit it.right.on.the.wall.
If you know me, you know how much I hate that sound and everything revolving this. And I hate to say it but this is a common occurrence everywhere you go in china, and probably the hardest thing to get used to. I couldn't handle it though or eat my chicken nuggets without gagging so we found a new table.
We eventually made it home. I took a nap, skyped with Coley and crashed. Only to wake up at 4:30 am to go to the airport.