The weekend explorers, might as well be a name to define the activity of trying to reclaim oxygen and freedom that has been suppressed throughout the week. Unfortunately having working Saturdays in the program translates to: Every Other Weekend Explorers, this gives plenty of time for planning and daydreaming thought, which in turn feeds everything else. Drawing a 250km circle around Hangzhou, Huangshan (yellow mountain) is the first thing to stand out. Famous in China for the spectacular views, pine trees and unnatural granite rocks it attracts a lot of attention and millions of tourists. A plan is set, the colleagues at work get really excited, draw me maps and advice me to dress warmly, my plan to sleep on top amuses them. Announcing the plan to Ben brings two more happy climbers and the rest is history. Early wake up, grab a bus from west station heading Tangkou, a small village/city next to mt. Huangshan.

Having my passport happily residing inside some immigration office drawer we made worst case scenarios for our accommodation. Without one you can’t book a hotel room which is quite a drag, James is in the same boat with me, having forgotten his one back home. To our surprise a cheap hotel finds us (through the form of an English speaking girl, which also happens to be the daughter of the bus owner, a thriving business) the moment we step out of the bus, no questions/passports asked, a room is produced and we settle inside for 40RMB per head. Taxi ride to the entrance of the mountain and after a hefty fee we browse through waves of people searching for the path to Lotus peak. Back home i ‘ve only experienced crowded beaches but here mountains are the place to be. That brings numerous armies of internal tourists and an impressive supporting structure on the whole mountain surface dedicated to them. Read the rest of this entry »