Monday, August 23, 2010

Anhui, part 8: Around the Lotus

l80 - Mark near Gleam of Sky - Ch

Our long day of hiking the paved trails at Huangshan continued. We passed the Gleam of Sky -- a steep staircase up a narrow chasm -- but didn't go up. That would require us to either circle back the way we'd just came or climb to the top of Lotus Peak.

l85 - Gleam of Sky
Do you see the people? They're climbing the Gleam of Sky stairs.

l82 - Blossoms below Turtle Peak

l87 - Up to Lotus Pavilion

Soon we were near the bottom of the Ladder on the Clouds, which we had viewed from afar earlier. It's another long, steep staircase. Naturally, men with sedan chairs waited for clients.
l86 - Need a Lift?

We chose to walk.

l89 - To the Ladder on the Clouds

l90 - Mark and Chunlin at the Bottom of the Cloud Ladder

Up up up, we went. Only now, looking back at the photographs, do I realize that we lost the last little bit of blue sky that day while we had our noses pointed at the ground.

l92 - Trees on Lotus Cliffs

Eventually, we reached Lotus Pavilion, whereupon we sat down with a hundred other people and finished the last of our water. Still thirsty, we broke down and bought a 550-mL bottle for ten yuan (about ten times the price of water in the grocery store the night before).

Lotus Pavilion would have been a nice place to rest, if not for the constant tour guides. Why must they always be so loud? As soon as one left, another arrived and started yelling into his or her microphone. They got to be too much for me, and so we left.

Around the side of Lotus Peak at a viewpoint, I noticed something on the cliff above us...
l94 - Do You Feel Like You're Being Watched?

We stayed with a good portion of our tour group (the ones we'd met the day before) through this section of trail.
l97 - No One Wants to Go Up

l98 - Shān
The Chinese character is "shan," which means "mountain." Presumably they labeled the rock so you'd know you were looking at a mountain...?

After crossing through the gap between Lotus Peak and Lotus Stamens Peak, we caught sight of Heavenly Capital Peak once more.
l100 - Chunlin and Heavenly Capital Peak

But most people looked at the big rock known as Lotus Stamens Peak.
l103 - Cliff of Lotus Stamens Peak

Nearing the end of our journey, our pace quickened, but that didn't stop me from taking a lot of photos.
l105 - Descent

l106 - Through the Pines to Heavenly Capital Peak

I've got more scenic photos on flickr, as one might expect.

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