Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Day 11 - October 15th

3am wake-up call!!! Didn’t get that much sleep last night. The boys were snoring, I was really cold and there was a mozzy buzzing around. I don’t know how mozzys survive in this cold. If I was them, I wouldn’t bother coming up here to feast!

We climbed the rest of the way up to the peak of the mountain. It was really cold and we did it in the pitch black. It took another three hours hike up some real steep steps. Saw the sunrise… it was beautiful!

I dunno why, but there’s something about cute Chinese girls in big army jackets! And as usual, they’re with their douchebag boyfriends! I catch a cold on the peak as I sweated so much on the way up and I don’t think the Bai Jui (rice wine) we had last night helped at all!

I treat the boys to more slurp at the peak even though they thought it was a bit too expensive up there… I was hungry! Coming down was harder then going up. Though physically it wasn’t as demanding, I really had to concentrate on my footing as my boots were too big for the steps! We walk to the midway point again and decide to take the bus down as we were all knackered. I leave Tai Shan a little Shan (mountain) of my own in the toilet! Maybe that’s why I’m ill! I have angered the gods with my poo!

Arrive in town and then leave the boys as they want to stay in Tai'an for another day whilst I want to go to Qufu (hometown of Confucius). We decide to meet again in Qingdao in a few days. The bus to Qufu was playing the same film as from Luoyang. Something about the Japanese and guns… I don’t get it!

I arrive in Qufu around midday. It looks like a real old town and the walls are still intact around it! I can’t see a single tower block. I’m guessing that would interfere with the feng shui (apparently the train station was built a few miles away from the town for the same reason). The cab driver takes me to a hotel (one that I didn’t ask to be taken to) but I was too tired and ill to argue. I haggle the room from Y120 to Y70 a night, not bad I think! I have a shower and then chat to Lisa on the phone. The first time I’ve spoken English in 3 days! I sleep for an hour!

In my wanderings around the town, I don’t know how I understand the people. I ask them a question, but then they talk at me words I just don’t know (must be Shandong dialect or really accented) but I seem to know what they are on about! I really like the look of this place, very peaceful for China! I spend the rest of the day on an internet bar and still not manage to get all my first days pix online!

Eat at the food market. I think this is the nicest place I’ve been so far… maybe it’s the drugs talking! But all the trees had fairy lights on and it looked like Christmas! I retire to my room around 8pm. Watch Bewitched in Chinese… did the trick for putting me to sleep!

Miles walked: 76.155m
Steps taken: 93,779


Anonymous said...

Super Al,

Good to see your spirits are picking up.

Well done on getting up Taishan on your little legs. I did the whole mountain in one go at the end of July, but was so knackered I took the cable car back down. Drank about 20 litres of water I reckon.

What's with all the padlocks at the summit?

Looking forward to your Qingdao entry. Beach no. 3 is the best, but the in-town beach is an interesting scene in the evening, though it may be getting a bit cold for a dip. And yes, the draft beer there is well handy.

After Kaifeng and Tai'an you'll be in for a bit of culture shock - Qingdao is a big town. But you can take the bus anywhere for 1 Yuan, and they are surprisingly up to date (like much of Qingdao). Don't forget to try the kebabs on the street. Excelente.

Like you, had a couple of long train journeys - Sifang (the current station for Qingdao whilst they spruce up the main station for the Olympics) to Taishan was 5 hours and then Taishan to Beijing was 9 hours, but the time passed pretty quick. And the dynamo-driven torch still works!

Keep going with the blog - it's a good read, plenty of gritty surrealism.



Anonymous said...

Bewitched in chinese... as in the witch that twitces her nose to do magic!!! I love that programme... ahhhhh... the memories... lol.

Clearly i have read the whole entry (proof of reading!) as i commented on the last line... lol... or i could have just read the last line! Just kidding.