Vacation 2009

DATE: 2009-07-16

We hit the cable carts first thing after breakfast, thinking that the time would be better spend hiking between the peaks than trying to climb to the top by foot (the peaks average at around 1900m). We hadn't made any reservations and just picked one of the many 5-star hotels on the top, ditched all our luggage and set out with just our cameras. The weather was great, sunshine and clear skies. All the paths were paved with stones and in very good condition, which made walking around a joy. We accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up walking down along a supply route. Apparently all supplies are carried up on the mountain by foot along this 6.5km long trail. Out of curiosity we asked how much they carry in one load; a seasoned hauler can take around 90kg. Ouch. At another crossroad we chose the path less traveled and ended up alone on an entire peak; not a single tourist as far as we could see. We also found an iron gate restricting access to a whole section; fortunately one of the bars in the fence had been torn down by malicious tourists allowing us to sneak in and take some pictures. One very noteworthy was the "Flying Rock" (飞来石), sitting on the top of a small peak; how it got up there is anyone's guess. We left the hotel at around 14PM and planned to do just a short walk, go back for lunch and head out again, but the whole area is arranged in a circle and once you start exploring you are more or less stuck walking the whole thing if you want to avoid backtracking huge distances. It also doesn't help that the distances on all the signs show the linear distance between different places and not the actual distance you walk going up and down the different peaks. We had walked non-stop for just over four hours without either food or water before realizing this. Then we promptly stopped at the nearest peak for some ice cold (literally) Nongfu Spring water (农夫山泉水), sitting on the edge looking out over the sunset. That was heaven for a weary traveler right there. Feeling somewhat rejuvenated we swiftly worked our way back to the hotel for a dinner long overdue.


"Note the distinct lack of safety rails and fences around the left side of the Flying Rock..."

Johan, 2012-06-24