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A Day In The Hangzhou Hills With Chinese Barry

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Up early to chat to Luo Wei and after paying another nights accommodation I boarded Bus No: 526 that took me from the North Bus Station all the way to the West Bus Station. When I got to where I thought I should get off (instead of going all the way to the station) I thought, nah, the next stop will be closer to the walking tracks I wanted to get to.

Of course, just like yesterday I should have got off as there was no other stop until we got to the damn station. To celebrate being an idiot I made my way down the road to a little Dumpling Eatery I spotted from the bus and sat for some of the most awesome dumplings that have ever been made. After my delicious dumplings I made my way back to somewhere between the Zhejiang Uni and the Hangzhou Mountain. Why do all this? I had decided to spend the day in the mountains walking here and there. On my map a walking track began somewhere here so I was expecting to find a gate way, a sign or even a ticket booth. I walked up and down and even asked a few people walking by. Nothing! BUGGER! So in the end I had to use my brain. BUGGER! On my map there was a toilet symbol and back a little were some bus numbers. Across from where I was standing was a toilet sign and after walking a few meters back I spotted some buses. I walked back to the toilet sign and looked towards the mountain. What I found were apartment blocks but in between I spotted the bottom of a set of concrete stairs. Bloody hell mate! Uli's 'Mud Map' from Jinghong in the Xishuangbanna was easier to read than this one! I had nothing to lose but myself so I thought why not. The beginning of the mountain climb passes heaps of Local Peoples tombs. The climb isn't difficult and once you reach the top you are rewarded with awesome views of the city and the lake area in all directions. Though it wasn't a hard walk the day was so hot and by the time I reached the top I was dripping wet. Each time I stopped moving the heat began to suffocate me so the best thing to do was to keep moving.

I continued on my journey along the top of the northern peak and finally I spotted the welcoming sight of the Cable Car Station and the small temple behind it. I wasn't about to catch the cable car down but I had run out of water. When I reached the temple I hung my tee-shirt, bag and what ever else was soaked on branches and along with the other ten or so Chinese around me I lay down to rest. I woke about an hour later and sat to read and finish the book I began the other day. It's called 'Tom, Dick and Debbie Harry'. It's a rather amusing read and I like its style. It's by the author of 'Single White Email. I then walked around the hill top temple for awhile and made my way down to the viewing platform to check out the stunning views of the lake, the city and the hills surrounding me. It really was a special view. I then decided it was time to make my way down the mountain and headed into the kiosk to grab some water. Here I met a wonderful guy named Barry. He was a Chinese man whom has spent the last twenty five years in America living with is wife and two children. We got to talking about Hangzhou and why we were both here and decided to head down the mountain and spend the rest of the afternoon/early evening together walking in the hills. The journey down didn't take long at all and we found ourselves somewhere between the Northern Peak and Meiren Peak. We then followed a beautiful tourist walk that took us to Lingyin Si (Temple). Along the trail we found a beautiful 'new' Ancient Town. As we walked Barry told me of his visits here in Hangzhou and to other parts of China twenty five years ago. Man and I thought things had changed in the past seven years! How things really have changed! By the time we reached the temple it was closed and still with well over an hour worth of light we decided we wanted to continue talking and walking and agreed on another hill climb. By heading up and 'around' Feilai Peak we would soon arrive in the Dragon Well Tea Village. It wasn't a hard climb, there was only around one billion stairs that took us to the top! Once we reached the top the view of the tea valley below was more than a reward. It reminded me so much of Wuyi Shans tea valleys in Fujian Province. All around us ladies were picking the tea leaves. It really was like something from a post card! Sadly due to the light and my not so awesome phone camera my photos will give it no justice at all. To find the staircase to take you 'around' Feilai Peak, from the temple head to the main road and look right. You will see a traffic tunnel. On the left hand side you will find the beginning of the track. By the time we had reached the Tea Valley it was very dark and being a village meant that there really weren't a lot of lights about. As we walked we talked about how lucky we really were to be in such a beautiful part of the world. It made him miss his homeland even more. By now we had coved the topics of my journeys through Japan and Korea and Barry's through India. As he loves climbing, walking and mountains I strongly suggested that he give South Korea ago. Its National Parks were wonderful and plentiful! I really do hope he heads there someday! After catching the bus back into town we headed to a rather 'Swisho' eatery. On the bus he had been chatting to a few of the other local passengers whom had given him a few hints on where to eat. Once we found it we chose wisely and sat to continue out days chat and enjoy the wonderful company. The food was delicious and I once again found myself being treated by wonderful Chinese person. It really was the greatest end to a perfect day. We both had entered the mountain from the same set of stairs way over near the West Bus Station and the Uni. I had found the staircase but poor Barry had to Bush Bash it for sometime before finding the trail. I haven't chatted to anyone about travelling for some time, especially someone who actually had done a fair bit of travelling. I guess that's another reason why I love travelling alone. It makes days and evenings like this all the more special and memorable. So far this journey the moments that have really been important and memorable have been; - Time spent with my Xian Family and my Australian friends - Meeting Amigo and spending as much time as possible with her in Kaifeng - Spending the day with the Israelis - Meeting and spending the day and evening with Cheng Ru, Xie Xian Lin and Cheng Ru's family for dinner in Zhenjiang City - And now this, meeting Barry and spending the afternoon and evening with him chatting about our lives and what we both love and dream about. I really am such a lucky boy! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the band 'The Music' The album was their self titled album

Hangzhou City - A Day On A Mountain

Hangzhou City - A Day On A Mountain


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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