4:30am wake-up call. Ugh. Pack up, head out to the street, no taxies. Awesome. We only have to make it to the train station. One finally creeps by – and by creeps, I mean creepily creeps like a creeper. Like I didn’t want to flag him down, but I didn’t have an option. So, we climb in … for the slowest ride ever. Probably a good thing, really, as he didn’t appear to be completely away. Got to the station, hop on our glorious D-train to TS – no standing, no crappy seats, aaahhh. Or at least aaahhh for about an hour of amazing sleep – then a group of guys got on and played poker, yelling at each other, right in front of Kristy and me. Kristy looks at me and goes, They are lucky I am not my sister and that I got that extra hour of sleep – otherwise, I’d be smacking them. Still, better than either of our other trains. Only took a couple hours to get back to TS instead of the 7 or so to get from TS to QD. In TS we met up with Jon, and Nate and Todd from Zhejiang. We grab breakfast while Jon negotiates a minibus up to the mountain.
Get there. Start walking. And walking. And walking.
And walking. And walking – all on horribly constructed steps. Ugh. Terrible. Disgusting. Climbing a mountain of steps. NOT FUN. We made it half way and ate lunch.
Kristy is having trouble breathing with the air, elevations, exercise, etc., and well, I’m done with mountain climbing, so we cable car up the rest of the way. Best. Decision. Ever. Only took us 37 minutes to get to the top.
Plus, this is the view out the window of the cable car. Hahahahahaha! Right. We had taken Katie’s bag with us since it was so heavy and she was going all the way on foot, so at the top, either Kristy or I had to carry double loads while looking for a hotel for the night – and PS, just because we were at the top of the mountain does not mean that we were done mountain climbing. We were still hiking up steps at 1500m. And now we had to do it with a double load!!! Dying. Finally we found a place for Y100 a night a bed – in what we fondly began to call the servants quarters behind the hotel that is at the very top of that mountain. We were on bunkbeds out in the hallway, but it was the cheapest, functional option. Our only other choice was to pay Y700 for a king-size bed and cram 7 people into it….yeah….we’re American. Not Chinese. We don’t ft in one bed quite as easily. By this time, the rest of the group has made it to the top. We grab food….not so good. At all. Like I wouldn’t do well in Taishan not good. The sunset was decent and then, we gradually began adding layers as the night got colder.
We sat around for a while, talking, and then finally try to sleep….which does not happen. We all lay there thinking that everyone else is sleeping, but no, no one got any sleep. As all the rooms opened up into the hallway where we were sleeping, we got light shone in our faces every 10 seconds and doors banging opened and closed in between. Jon was on a top bunk next to a ladder than led up into the attic where 1, there were more people who climbed up and down all night, and 2, was where the snoring came from. Every time someone climbed down, it looked like there were people joining him on his bunk. I was on the end by the squatter and kept getting things dropped on my head as people walked to it. Luckily, I ended up with a super warm blanket and a tin bed frame – so instead of falling through the bed like everyone else, I sprung up every time I moved. About 4am, all the Chinese “finally” got up, so we all just gave up and started talking to each other. The original plan was to have an alarm wake us up at 5:30 for the 5:55 sunrise…..or we’ll all just not get sleep and give up at 4am and crawl out into the freezing cold world. Whatever. We move out onto the balcony and discover just how many people are already congregating below us – 1000’s. We wait. And wait. And wait. Finally the sky gets a bit lighter.
And then we wait some more. Finally the sun peaks through. Woo-hoo. So, I climbed a mountain for a delayed sunrise. Awesome.
Now that the sun has appeared, we all head back into the hallway and get some sleep. Finally.
All the workers kept walking around, going, why are al the foreigners still sleeping?! Finally, they kicked us out and down the mountain to breakfast. We each grab some food and then head down the mountain.And down. And down. And down. And down.
And down. And down. And down. By about 3/4 of the way I was practically bored to tears. Ah! Horrible. Jelly legs the whole way. Not fun. I informed Jon that if he EVER makes me climb a mountain there had better be a parasailing or tobogganing option for me to get back down. Jon goes, what about a rip cord? That’ll do. And then he goes, but you’d better climb it all the way to the top next time. To which I went….yeah…we’ll see. Finally, we reached the bottom.
We grab a minibus and head back to the train station to pick up our luggage that we had checked.
Head over to the hotel where everyone showers except for me and Amber…why ruin the nasty streak I’ve got going on, really? Plus…soooo much work to stand. Head over to KFC for snacks and a game of team Bananagrams – which is a surprisingly fun game. Jon and I rocked at it – so much so that we had to switch up teams. Who knew I’d be good at a word game? We decide to go grab supper – walk around a bit until we find this awesome little restaurant all outside. We get a tiny table and play Uno for a while while we wait for our food to be prepared. Everyone else is playing regular card games while the crazy foreigners have these big colored cards. Ah the stares. The tables at the restaurant were these little ones – perfectly sized for me, but not for Todd who’s basically a giant here in China. I on the other hand, have fallen in love with them and will only have my-sized furniture in my future house.
After supper, Kristy, Jon and I went for massages before heading off to sleep in a real bed.