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Mount Emei: Part 1

The hike of my life

(Norsk lenger nede)

Before I came to the Sichuan province, one thing I had planned was to climp mount Emei, or Emeishan which it’s also called. Mount Emei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China so many people come here. It is also a World Heritage Site thanks to its breathtaking scenery, mysterious foggy look and all the historical Buddhist sites. The mountain is 3099 meters tall, and you can actually get to the top by taking a bus and a cable car. This was not my plan though; I wanted a real hiking trip.

My original plan was to spend two nights on the mountain, as you can sleep in monasteries on the way. But after talking to people who said that all the monasteries were freezing cold with no heating, I decided to only spend one night. I decided to go from Wuxiangang bus station, via the Joking Monkey Zone (where you will see wild monkeys for sure), and spend the night in one of the monasteries above, depending on how far I came before it got dark.

I took the bus up to Wuxiangang bus station on Friday morning, which means that I started my hike at an altitude of 650 meters. I started walking a little late, at 11.45. This was actually on purpose, because I did not want to arrive early in the freezing monasteries. Better to start a little later, have a little pressure to hike fast and arrive right before dark.

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From the beginning I hiked by myself. I was not alone though, as I met many tourists both going up and down. Many people want to go to the Joking Monkey Zone to see the wild monkeys, so I assume that is what most people were doing. The temperature was not too bad; I’m guessing 7-8 degrees so I started by taking of some layers. On this part of the trail there are also many vendors that sell food and souvenirs, so I was never alone.

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After a while, when I had almost reached the Monkey Zone, I met some Chinese girls. They were very nice, and asked I wanted to go with them through the Joking Monkey Zone, as it is not recommended to go alone. I was quite relieved that I found someone to go with, because I was a bit nervous about the monkeys. I had read that they can be quite aggressive and will look through your pockets for food. As we had almost reached the monkeys, some ladies that were selling monkey food approached us. I think they told the Chinese girls that we should buy some, or else the monkeys would get very aggressive when we had no food to give them.

We did not buy the food, so one of the ladies kept following us. As we reached the monkey zone, I got a bit scared. It seemed as though the monkeys were just standing there waiting to jump on us. And that is what they did. The first girl crossed the hanging bridge over to the monkey zone got a monkey on her head, and she screamed to the monkey-food lady that she had to give the monkey some food. The lady then said she would have to pay for it, which of course she said yes to; after all she had a huge screaming monkey on top of her head.

This was all that happened in the monkey zone. The monkeys would tug on our clothes, jump on our heads and backpacks, just so that we could scream that the monkey-food lady had to save us. I think this was all a set up, and that the ladies have trained the monkeys to do this, so that the ladies get money and the monkeys get food. I think if you just walked on and poked the monkeys with your walking stick, they would see that there was no point in bothering you and just leave. Luckily the monkey zone was quite short, so when we crossed another hanging bridge, we were free. Except one little monkey that followed us, but the lady just poked towards him with a stick, and he left. So it is sort of regulated where these monkeys can go. I guess it is a try to keep them off the trail so that they will not be aggressive to all hikers.

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When we got out of the monkey zone, the girls were going to hike down again, and I was continuing on upwards. This was the only time I felt scared. I was so nervous that I would meet more aggressive monkeys, and now I was even alone, something the signs warned you about. I hiked really quickly, and luckily I did not see more monkeys. But I was nervous every time I got around a corner.

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Monkeys on a hanging bridge

A little further up, outside a small temple, I stopped to drink some water and take a rest. Then I was approached by a group of Chinese students that wanted to take a picture with me. They asked if I was alone, and if I wanted to hike with them. I said yes, so suddenly I had new friends. They had also planned to spend the night at the mountain, but since they had started their hike further down, they planned to sleep at a monastery not as far up as I had planned. But it took me about five seconds to decide that I would rather have hiking friends for the rest of my trip than rushing off to reach a monastery further up. At this point it started to rain a little, which was not good for my non-waterproof winter jacket. I bought a cheap rain poncho, but it did not quite help. Two of the Chinese girls were walking so slowly, that all I could think about was that I was standing out in the rain, waiting for some people I did not even know. I therefore decided to just walk in front, and meet them again at the monastery.

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Then I was lucky again, and met a Chinese couple. They did not really speak English, but tried their best, and wanted to hike together with me. They walked quite fast, and at this point I was getting pretty tired after 5 hours of stairs, so it was nice to have someone to drag me up. Soon we reached the snow, and then we knew we were getting closer to the monastery, where the couple also was spending the night.

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We arrived at the monastery, took a look at the different rooms, and when we came down to the reception again my other friends were arriving. They decided in Chinese that us three girls could share a room, and the four boys could share. The two girls that were walking slowly had decided to turn around and walk back (wise decision). I was happy that I did not have to spend the night alone!

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My bed

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My room mates' beds

At this time, it was around 6 pm and getting dark. The outside temperature was around -7 degrees, and as all doors were open (as it always is in China, why why WHY) that was also the inside temperature… We plugged in our electric sheets and hoped for the best. We had a nice dinner together, although it was freezing. After dinner we went to bed at 7.50 pm. There was nothing else to do in the cold! Besides, we were getting up at 6 am the next morning.

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Mount Emei: Del 1

Mitt livs tur

(Brukte litt google translate på denne, så unnskyld for det dårlige språket)

En ting jeg hadde planlagt før jeg kom til Sichuan-provinsen var å gå på Mount Emei, eller Emeishan som det også kalles. Mount Emei er ett av de fire hellige buddhistiske fjellene i Kina, så mange mennesker kommer hit. Det har også tittel som verdensarv takket være sin fantastiske natur, sitt mystiske tåkete utseende og alle de historiske buddhistiske områdene. Fjellet er 3099 meter høyt, og du kan faktisk komme til toppen ved å ta en buss og en taubane. Det var derimot ikke min plan, jeg ville på ekte fjelltur.

Min opprinnelige plan var å tilbringe to netter på fjellet, man kan nemlig sove i buddhistiske tempel på veien. Men etter å ha snakket med folk som sa at alle templene er iskalde med ingen oppvarming, bestemte jeg meg for å bare tilbringe en natt. Jeg bestemte meg for å gå fra Wuxiangang busstasjonen, via Joking Monkey Zone (der du kan se ville aper), og tilbringe natten i ett av templene ovenfor, avhengig av hvor langt jeg kom før det ble mørkt.

Jeg tok bussen opp til Wuxiangang busstasjon på fredag morgen, noe som betyr at jeg startet min tur på en høyde på 650 meter. Jeg begynte å gå litt sent, kl 11.45. Dette var faktisk med vilje, fordi jeg ikke ønsket å komme for tidlig frem til et iskaldt tempel. Bedre å starte litt senere, ha litt press på seg til å gå fort og komme frem rett før det blir mørkt.

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Fra begynnelsen av gikk jeg alene. Jeg var likevel ikke alene på stien, for der var det mange turister på vei både opp og ned. Mange kinesere går opp til Joking Monkey Zone for å se ville aper, så jeg antar det er hva folk flest gjorde. Temperaturen var ikke så ille, jeg tipper en 7-8 grader, så jeg begynte med å ta av meg noen lag med klær. På denne delen av stien er det også mange vendors som selger mat og suvenirer, så jeg var aldri alene.

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Etter en stund, da jeg nesten hadde nådd Monkey Zone, møtte jeg noen kinesiske jenter. De var veldig hyggelige, og spurte om jeg ønsket å gå med dem gjennom Joking Monkey Zone, siden det ikke er anbefalt å gå alene. Jeg ble veldig glad for at jeg fant noen å gå med, for jeg var faktisk ganske nervøs for disse apene. Jeg hadde lest at de kan være ganske aggressive og vil se gjennom lommene dine etter mat. Når vi nesten hadde komet opp til apene, kom noen damer som solgte apemat og begynte å snakke med de kinesiske jentene. Jeg tror de fortalte at vi burde kjøpe apemat av dem, ellers ville apene bli svært aggressive når vi ikke hadde noe mat å gi dem. Vi kjøpte ikke apemat, så en av damene forfulgte oss. Når vi nådde apesonen, ble jeg faktisk ganske redd. Det virket som om apene ble bare stod der og venter på å hoppe på oss. Og det var akkurat det de gjorde. Den første jenta krysset hengebroen over til apesonen, og med en gang kom en svær ape og hoppet opp på hodet hennes. Hun ropte til apemat-damen at hun måtte gi apen mat, sånn at den skulle slippe henne. Damen sa at da måtte hun betale for apematen, noe hun selvfølgelig sa ja til, hun hadde tross alt en stor skrikende ape på toppen av hodet. Det samme skjedde gjennom hele apesonen. Apene dro i klærne våre, holdt oss fast, hoppet på hodene våre og på ryggsekkene, bare for at vi skulle rope til apemat-damen at hunmåtte redde oss. Jeg tror hele greia er en set-up, og at damene har trent apene i å gjøre dette, slik at damene får penger og apene få mat. Jeg tror at hvis du bare hadde gått rett frem og hyttet med en stokk mot apene om de prøvde seg, så ville de ikke gjort sånn. Heldigvis var apesonen ganske kort, så da vi krysset en annen hengebro, var vi fri fra apegalskapen. Bortsett fra en liten apekatt som fulgte oss, men damen bare hyttet mot ham med en bambuspinne, og da stakk han. Så det er liksom regulert hvor disse apene kan gå. Jeg antar det er for prøve å holde dem utenfor stien, slik at de ikke skal være aggressiv for alle turgåere.

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Da vi kom ut av apesonen skulle de kinesiske jentene gå ned igjen, og jeg skulle fortsette oppover. Dette var den eneste gangen jeg følte meg redd. Jeg var skikkelig nervøs for at jeg ville møte flere aggressive aper, og særlig siden jeg nå var alene, noe skiltene advarte deg om. Jeg gikk temmelig fort oppover, og heldigvis så jeg ikke flere aper. Men jeg var nervøs hver gang jeg gikk rundt et hjørne.

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Monkeys on a hanging bridge

Litt lenger oppe, utenfor et lite tempel, stoppet jeg for å drikke litt vann og ta en pause. Da kom en gruppe kinesiske studenter som ville ta bilde med meg. De spurte om jeg var alene, og om jeg ønsket å gå med dem. Jeg sa ja, og plutselig hadde jeg nye venner. De hadde også planlagt å tilbringe natten på fjellet, men siden de hadde startet sin tur lenger ned, planla de å sove i et tempel ikke så langt opp som jeg hadde planlagt. Men det tok meg omtrent fem sekunder å bestemme at jeg ville heller ha noen å gå sammen med for resten av turen enn å gå på alene bare for å sove litt lenger opp. På dette tidspunktet begynte det å regne litt, noe som ikke var bra for min ikke-vanntett vinterjakke. Jeg kjøpte en billig regnponcho, men det hjalp ikke så mye. To av de kinesiske jentene gikk i tillegg så sakte at det eneste jeg tenkte på var at jeg sto ute i regnet og ventet på noen mennesker jeg ikke engang kjente. Jeg bestemte meg derfor for å bare gå i front, og møte studentene igjen i tempelet.

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Så var jeg heldig igjen, og møtte et kinesisk par på min alder. De snakket egentlig ikke engelsk, men gjorde sitt beste, og de hadde lyst å gå sammen med meg. De gikk ganske fort, og på dette tidspunktet var jeg ganske sliten etter fem timer med trapper, så det var hyggelig å ha noen til å dra meg opp. Ikke lenge etter nådde vi snøen også, og da visste vi at vi var nært tempelet, der de også hadde tenkt å sove.

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Vi kom til tempelet, tok en titt på de ulike rommene, og når vi kom ned til resepsjonen igjen, så hadde mine andre venner også ankommet. De bestemte på kinesisk at vi tre jentene kunne dele rom, og de fire guttene kunne dele. De to jentene som gikk sakte hadde bestemt seg for å snu og gå tilbake (god beslutning). Og jeg var glad for at jeg slapp å tilbringe natten alene!

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My bed

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My room mates' beds

På dette tidspunktet var klokken blitt 18:00 og det begynte å bli mørkt. Utetemperaturen var rundt -7 grader, og siden alle dørene stod åpne (som det alltid er i Kina, hvorfor, hvorfor??) så var det også innetemperaturen ... Vi plugget i våre elektriske laken og håpet på det beste. Vi hadde en hyggelig middag i tempel-restauranten alle sammen, selv om det var iskaldt. Etter middag gikk vi til sengs klokken 19:50. Det var ikke noe annet å gjøre i kulden! Dessuten skulle vi opp klokken seks neste morgen.

Posted by martinemaui 08:24 Archived in China

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