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Emei Shan (Emei Mountain)

Emeishan, China

Hiking day on a holy bddhist mountain. didn't see any famous monkeys though. Full day Emei Shan, return to Chengdu. Last chance to visit the hot springs for the group. leave 3 star Nine Dragon hotel. nice place!

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on March 24, 2005 from Emeishan, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Spring 2005
tagged Buddhism, Mountain, HotSpring, EmeiMountain, Emei, EmeiShan, Monkey, Hotel, Hike and Hiking

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Last Night Stateside - Night 13

Tucson, United States

Columbus Day, a second rate holiday if that. My hosts, however, were required at their day jobs, so I had the pleasure of taking the Volvo for a ride today. After another conference call tying up some loose ends at work, I drove west on Speedway Boulevard up to Gates Pass Recreation Area in Tucson Mountain Park. I hiked a short way up to a small, rock outcropping that likely had a name, though I don't know it, and hung out for a while letting the warm desert wind blow through my hair. From my perch I contemplated the dangerous beauty of this place. Life clings so precariously to the rock and dirt here. The plants and animals use each drop of water as if it were their last, and when given the chance they explode in beautiful colors and odds shapes, vicious bites and sharp points. Tis a small and juvenile mind that finds the desert boring and dull.

In the afternoon i finished up some final shopping errands. Chad and Crissy returned home and we headed to our old happy hour haunt, Bison Witches, for my last supper, as it were. The waitresses remained as good looking as ever, though the potato bacon soup was a bit more watered down than I remember. Justin met us out and I spent the night as his place near Mountain and Grant.

What I Learned Today: I have some truly amazing, generous friends all across this amazing land.

permalink written by  exumenius on October 8, 2007 from Tucson, United States
from the travel blog: Down Under trip Preparation
tagged Hike and TucsonMountains

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Just My Backyard

Carlsbad, United States

Whenever I feel a bit fenced in, the thing that can make me feel free again is drive to the ocean. I love to park my car on a bluff and look down at the water below. Often times, I walk down to the shore and watch surfers waiting for big waves. I also bring some old bread to hand out to squirrels or throw up in the air for sea gulls to catch and fly off with.
Then when I get hungry I walk over to a small fish and chips restaurant that looks like a shack. It's right by the water with a view of the blue sea and blue sky.
There are many activities that one can do in Carlsbad besides hike by the sea. One can skateboard, bike, jog, of course, swim, and just plain have a good time. Legoland is nearby, a destination by itself. But one half day by the water is good enough for me. When I get home, I am a bit tanned, my smile is wider, and when I look at myself in the mirror, I see sparkle in my eyes that were not there that morning. I love my backyard!

permalink written by  irma on March 30, 2009 from Carlsbad, United States
from the travel blog: My Backyard
tagged Hike, Bike, Ocean, Carlsbad and GoodTime

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16 km hike

Da Lat, Vietnam

Again our bus ride was a bit of an adventure. When we got to the bus stop at the Hahn Cafe in Nha Trang, we were told that the bus was delayed because of a problem with the clutch. A fellow passenger with car experience told us that they were really having problems with the brakes after monitoring their work. Not what you want to hear when the bus is heading into the mountain highlands. The ride went off without a hitch besides there being no air-conditioning for the 7 hour journey.
We took it easy that night and ended up booking a 16 km trek with a local travel company for Sunday. The next day we decided to rent a motorbike and cruise the surroundings.
Da lat is situated in the mountains in the southwest part of the country. The French used the city for a vacation get-away up until their departure in the early 60's. The result was the towns architecture is filled with chalets. The area is beautiful, reminiscent of the Appalachian mountains. Best of all, the temperature hovers between 15-24 degrees celsius all year round, so no one needs air conditioning.
After we got the motobike, we started to cruise around and went into a local tourist trap called the Camly waterfalls. This place was so terrible it was great. It had weird statues of elephants and one of a man making love to a tiger. When we got to the bottom of the "waterfall," we came across a man selling 3 shots with a bow and arrow. I couldn't resist. There was even a prize if you hit the bullseye all three times. Unfortunately, I failed to win the grand prize; a sketchy looking bottle of Da lat's own strawberry wine that no one in thier right mind would even consider drinking. After Rachel and I both tried our luck, the man talked us into playing a game involving a freaky clown mask and a pole. The idea was to put on the mask, making you unable to see and then walking about 15 ft. to try to hit an in-ground pole with a stick. The guide said Rachel came closer to hitting it but I disagree. Plus, she cheated by counting out the paces it took to reach the pole without her mask on. Cheater!
Then we went looking for this architectual wonder called the crazy house, but instead found a cemetery overlooking a valley. The cemetery was the most interesting one either of us had ever seen. Vietnamese have an unusual superstition of washing the family member's skeleton 3 years after the person has been buried. According to our guide from Halong Bay, it's best for the family members to do this morbid act but they sometimes hire people to complete the task for them. Since they have to wash the bones, the Vietnamese bury the persons body in an above-ground tomb. Another interesting thing about the cemetary was that both Christians and Buddhists are buried beside each other, so you see both the Buddhist and Christian symbols intermingled in the cemetery.
Next, we went in search of a cable car that traversed 2.3 km over a mountain. I was a bit scared so Rachel tormented me the entire time. We were able to see all of Da Lat from the scenic point.
Today, it was time for the hike that we signed up for the first day we arrived. Our day started by being awakened by a rooster that is lodging right outside of our hotel. The last two days we've been awoken close to 5:30 in the morning with a cock-a-doodle-doo.
An suv picked us up and drove us to a pine forest outside of the city with our two guides. They were both quite friendly though their English wasn't the greatest.
We embarked on the trek at 9 am. The trek led us through coffee plantations and over two suspension bridges that crossed over a muddy river. When we got to the second bridge we found that it was broken. One side of this treachorous looking bridge was hanging down towards the river. We only had two options, to turn back or cross it. We chose the latter. While I was walking across this bridge you would see in an Indiana Jones movie, one of the planks broke. I deftly scrambled to the next plank before I could plunge into the river 20 ft. below.
The next part led us up a big hill overlooking the valley. Before we reached the top, we noticed that smoke was nearby. Our guide told us that locals start forest fires just for fun and that's all it was. Another custom in the forest was for locals to burn and scar the trees so they can extract the sap from them for glue, make-up, and gunpowder. It was sad to see that a good portion of the trees in the forest had been burned at their trunks.
Right after the we passed the fire, we saw a local carrying an object strangely behind his back. As we passed we saw that it was an AK-47. Just up the way his friend was coming along with a machete. The guide told us that they were illegaly poaching animals in the forest. Great, now all we had to be worried about were poachers mistaking us for the wildlife. It didn't help that Rachel was wearing her deer antlers.
Just up the way the guides layed out our lunch. All of my favorites were spread out on the tarp for us, peanut butter, bananas, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It was really interesting talking to the guides. One of them was an English major in college and had a fair grasp of the language. This was the first chance we had to really dig for information from a fairly reliable source. He opened up a little bit about politics and Vietnamese history. After we had our fill, we kept along the path and kept on trekking.
This led to more amazing views and coffee plantations. After some more uphill hiking, we found ourselves in a small minority village where about 100 villagers resided according to our guide. We didn't see many of them though. They must of been out poaching for wildlife. We were pretty tired by this time and kept pushing on to the end of the journey.
We are now resting in an internet cafe down the street from our hotel. There are torrential downpours outside so who knows how long we're going to be pent up here. One things for sure, we'll be waking up early tomorrow. Happy Easter.


permalink written by  zachel on April 10, 2009 from Da Lat, Vietnam
from the travel blog: Zack and Rachel's Asian Chronicles
tagged Hike, CableCar and DaLat

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Tiger Leaping Gorge! Or, the near perfect day

Qiaotou, China

So much to catch up on...

Day One: Just about ideal. 9am bus, not too early, came right to our hostel so no sloshing to the long distance bus station and all for only 5rmb [81 cents] more than the public bus.

Bumpy ride to be expected in this part of the world. Mei ban fa [nothing I can do about it.]

Short walk from drop off point [that doubles as a bag storage service] to local restaurant for very good meal with two as yet unknown to me vegetables. [In this part of Yunnan, menus are rare. A refridgerated display case holds tubs of veggies that you point to then discuss how it is to be cooked. I do not understand all the cooking methods. When I don't, that's the one I pick!]

Hike started in perfect weather with sunny skies and fluffy clouds. Mountains visible from the start. We make the Naxi Family Guesthouse in 2 hours, the posted time.

Naxi family almost ignores us but does serve us Yunnan tea with a fresh mint leaf for a very nice flavor. They are in the process of giving a baby a bath. That involves heating the water over a fire, putting out interlocking foam pads on the concrete courtyard floor, and having clean blankets & clothes nearby. After rub down [what the pads & blanket were for] baby gets dressed and wrapped in a Naxi back carrier. It looks like a quilted blanket but there is a head rest sticking up from the center of the top and two very long straps off each of the top corners. It takes two adults to get the baby in place. Baby is wrapped in the quilt then the straps, that are now crossing infront of the baby, are draped over an adult's shoulders, then crisscrossed over the adult's chest making a big letter X. The straps are now at the adult's waist level where they are wrapped at the adult's waist to the back becoming a seat for the baby. One adult needs to hold the baby in place while all this wrapping is done. When done the adult walks the baby to sleep, the little baby butt sticking out over the waist wrap. Very clever!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Bus, Tea, Hike, Naxi, Baby, Menu, Local, Vegetable, Mint and Carrier

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Too hard!

Shaxi, China

Today I hiked with two Chileans & a Dutchman to some famous old grottoes in the hillsides near Shaxi. There are many and spread far apart in the hills. Seeing them all would take one very long day of non-stop hiking. We opt for a few along a curving path. A mini-van & driver will meet us at the end.

We make it to the first set [that include 'fertility' symbols on lotus pads]. To be cautious we inquire of the route to our next destination. The man says too difficult, go back to the parking lot and walk from there. Back to the parking lot would be a difficult down into the valley and up the other side that we already trekked. Over & over he said to go back, our route was too difficult & we'd get lost.

Thankfully, we ignored him. The route was easy to follow and almost totally down hill unlike the deep dip & back up he was recommending us to do. And it was beautiful! Even with no millenium old carvings to look at occassionally the hike was well worth it just for the trees, hills, blue skies, rock outcroppings and and views to distant villages.

Photos coming soon!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 10, 2012 from Shaxi, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Hike, Easy, Fertility, Ignore and Carvings

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