I have a prospective client on the west coast, but their manufacturing facility and one of the partners is in China, so off I went to China for a visit. The first stop was Hong Kong, where I had a few hours before continuing on to Shenzhen on the mainland. I kind of trashed my camera lens when I took the photo of Mt. Shasta you see at the top of the blog (it turns out 200 mph bugs CAN chip a lens), so I decided to devote my time in Hong Kong to buying a new Canon G12 camera to replace my G10. After that mission was accomplished I spent a day in Shenzen touring the factory and meetings.
That was Thursday and Friday, and I had another meeting in Shanghai on Monday, so I had a couple of days in mainland China to myself. I remembered seeing some wild photos of a place in China somewhere, somewhere on granite in the mountains. Could I possibly find that place and visit it? In a weekend? And still make it back for my meeting Monday morning in Ningbo outside Shanghai?
It was a challenge but I did it, and Huasan is indeed a wild and interesting place. Of course, the cool thing is the “boardwalk” with the wild 1,000 foot drop-off below your feet. It isn’t part of a major trail, but only a spur trail that goes out to a temple of some sort carved in the rock. They now have harnesses you wear, a good thing to have especially around other people! No one wants to get bumped off the platform. The boardwalk itself looks like it has been there hundreds of years, so even though it looks scary I figure it was unlikely to fall off at the moment I was on it.
I had read that they have hostels on the mountain so I just brought a day back with a change of socks and underwear, and sure enough that worked out and I got a place to stay. The day pack was a hydration pack so common here, but apparently not so common in China. One person that spoke some English, said, “Ah – Oxygen!”, so probably everyone thought I was sucking oxygen while on the mountain. I spent Saturday night on the mountain, then got up early to hike up to East Peak to see the sunrise, apparently something you do when on the mountain. The sunrise was very anti-climatic because of clouds and smog – it just got lighter and grayer with no real sunrise.
Then it was a rush to make it to Ningbo. Trail running, trams, rickshaws, taxis, planes and buses and I only knew yes, no and thank you in Chinese. I did ten different travel segments in total and although I missed a train in Shanghai I was still able to get a bus to Ningbo. Whew. My business companion, waiting for me in Ningbo, was pretty certain I wasn’t going to show up so I was happy to have made it.