Conquering Mt. Taibai with my husband Tony ---III

Written by Nov 27, 2012 01:54
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It was getting dark. The temperature was declining though it was just 18:30. I strongly suggested bringing winter coats if you also planned to come here. The night was too cold. I wore my thick coat but still trembled. Food here was very expensive. A bowl of instant noodles cost 15 RMB. I still felt cold after eating a bowl of instant noodles. I asked the staff at the reception station if he could give some boiled water. He didn’t say a word to me. Tony said a bottle of boiled water cost 15 RMB too. No wonder he refused to give me more water.

Tonight we were going to sleep at the reception station. Tony and I planned to sleep together but the staff didn’t agree. He told us that there was a Taoist priest at the station. Thus, we had to be separated apart. I was told that women’s rooms had electric blankets but I still felt cold when I turned it on.

After eating two bowls of instant noodles, Tony and I wanted to hang around the reception station. We suddenly found two temples to the north and south of the Daye Lake. The temple to the south of the lake was already destroyed. The Taoist priest we met at the reception station told us that he once asked the reception station to take charge of the temple when he went out to beg alms. But the staff at the reception station didn’t do their best to take care of the temple. Thus, the temple to the south of the lake was destroyed. He also told us that there were some fake Taoists at the temple to the north of the lake.

According to the Taoist we met, Mt. Taibai was open to the visitors from May 1 to September 30. July and August were the best time to visit Mt. Taibai. In the peak season, around a thousand people came here and donated money to him. In the low season, the number of the visitors could reach four or five hundred. He said the visitors donated money willingly. And he didn’t care how much they donated. He also told us that some good people already donated ten cave dwellings. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sell the caves in order to rebuild the temple.

The temple to the north of the lake looked special. The outside wall was made of stone and its roof was made of earth. Inside was a wooden cockloft. When we came, we found there was a huge pot that was full of boiling water. A Taoist was boiling noodles. He asked if we had dinner yet. Although we had the impulse to taste his noodle, we still declined and said “Thank you, we already had dinner.” We felt that the temple was warmer than the reception station. The Taoist said that the floor was changed into a big bed which could accommodate 10 people. If we didn’t pay money to the reception station, we would have come here for a night. Before we left, we asked how much the accommodation fee was. He said “We have our faith. The visitors their own can decide how much they should give. Usually, they give us at least 20 RMB and we offer them dinner.”

It was interesting to chat with the Taoists. But we had to get back to the reception station to sleep. We said “Bye” to the Taoist and walked back. The dorm was still too cold. There were six big beds which could accommodate 12 people. But tonight there were just six people in all. I didn’t take off my clothes. Instead, I placed two pieces of quilt on me and put my backpack under my head as my pillow and then closed my eyes.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into sleep easily. My head aches and my feet were swollen. It’s torturing! I didn’t know when I fell into sleep but I did remember I had some strange dreams. I dreamt that I couldn’t find the toilet and fell down from the bed.

Thanks to my dream, I woke up at 2:18. I wanted to pee but hesitated to go out. It was unsafe to leave with my backpack here and it was dark outside. What’s more, I didn’t know where the toilet was. As a result, I forced myself to sleep.

Suddenly, I heard someone calling my name. I told myself it was a dream. But the voice sounded real. Jesus christ! It was my husband Tony. He called me to view the sunrise. It was warm outside. I gave my backpack to Tony and asked the staff at the reception station to show me where the toilet was. Then I emptied my bladder. It was feeling good. Tony told me that he appreciated the night view of the Meixian county at the foot of Mt. Taibai with his telescope. It was nice! He could even see the cars on the road. “The air quality was excellent. At that moment, I felt that I was in heaven.”, said he. “Is the night view as good as that we saw from the Mt. Tai?”, asked I. “Much better! I couldn’t figure out where the stars are because they are mixed together with the lights on the road.”, answered he. It was a pity! I missed the nice night view.

Daye Lake looked dark blue in the early morning sunshine. The stars were still in the sky. Tony said he saw Great Bear Constellation clearly when he got up at midnight. He also saw some people walked around the Daye Lake with electric torches in hands. They murmured something that Tony didn’t know.

Some young boys and girls woke up and joined us to appreciate the sunrise and Daye Lake in distance from the reception station. Some of them used their DSLR to take pictures. I took some pictures with my camera too.

Tony and I started to climb at 05:15. The sun already rose from the north but hid himself behind the Mt. Bagong. Tony and I speeded up because we didn’t want to miss the scene when the sunshine fell on the Daye Lake. Though there were just 20 or 30 steps from the reception station to the Daye Lake, we felt tired after we arrived the Daye Lake. Tony said the young men in the same dorm all had headache. Some of them even vomited at night. I asked Tony if he had headache. He said ‘Yes’. I thought I brought some painkiller pills in my backpack. Tony ate one pill and I took two pills. My headache was gone in a few minutes after I took the pills.
Daye Lake bathed in sunshine

Ba Xian Tai was the summit of the Mt. Taibai. Tony and I planned to see the sunrise at the summit. But we didn’t make it. Well, we didn’t feel regretted because we watched the sunrise from a platform near the Ba Xian Tai. When the sun rose, the mountain was suddenly covered by golden sunshine. I just felt I stood on the Himalaya at the moment. I had to say, the sunrise on Mt. Taibai was totally different from the other mountains like Mt. Tai, Mt. Hua, Mt. Song, Yellow Mountain and Mt. Jiuhua.
Ba Xian Tai Cloud Sea in the sunrise

At 06:20, we reached Ba Xian Tai, the summit of the Mt. Taibai. I was so excited that my tears almost came out. After so many difficulties, I finally conquered the Mt. Taibai. It was great! We both were bathed in the sunshine. Look at the flowers! The raindrops were still on their leaves but they were all in blossom. I saw many small stone hills here. They were piled up by those pioneers who came here before us. Tony and I piled up a stone hill too. I told Tony “It belongs to us. Every time the sun rises, it will be bathed in the sunshine.”
Sacred Place scattered with stone piles

Flowers and Grass

There was a stone house at the summit. We followed the steps and entered the house. It was actually a temple. There was a Taoist inside the temple. We donated a few bucks to him and then he led us to appreciate the scenery to the east of the temple. He said he noticed us when we climbed the mountain. We chatted with him and learnt that he was from the Meixian county. Every year, he stayed here for six months. When he came here, he brought some food. But it couldn’t sustain for six months. I asked him what he ate after he consumed all the food. He said those who came here always left some food to him before leaving. And he came to fetch water from the Er’ye Lake in person.
Stone House (Taoist Temple)

Erye Lake

To the west of the temple, we found the plotting mark. It was highest point at Mt. Taibai. I had an urge to take a picture with the plotting mark but Tony stopped me. It was too dangerous. The other side was a steep cliff. The Taoist told us that Zhang Guolao (one of the Eight Immortals) became an immortal and went to the heaven from here.

“Er’ye Lake is not far away from the temple. But I need an hour to fetch water from there.”, the Taoist said. Tony and I wanted to explore the Er’ye Lake but we finally gave up. Although we had time, we still had to get back to the cable car terminal. To the west of the Er’ye Lake, there was another small anonymous lake. I told Tony I already gave it a name “Xiaoye Lake”. Tony smiled and praised that I was a genius.
Small anonymous lake

We left the temple at 7:00. On the way back to the reception station, Tony and I discussed a lot about the Mt. Taibai. But we missed a chance to visit the Ice Cave. It is said that the ice inside the cave never melt. Some people took some ice away to show off. It was a pity that we didn’t go there. Tony and I ate several pieces of biscuit when we got to the reception station. Then we started to get down.

On the way to the cable car terminal, I told Tony that it must be the last chance for me to climb the Mt. Taibai. Tony asked “Why”. I said “I am getting older and my body condition is not good enough to allow me to climb Mt. Taibai again.” Many people said “It is easier to descend a mountain than to climb up it”. But it didn’t work on me. I still suffered from the altitude sickness. Five hours later, we reached Little Wengong Temple. Tony told me that we spent five hours entering the Mt.Taibai Natural Reserve and the same time getting out of the reserve. What a coincidence!

Thanks to the altitude sickness, my feet were swollen again and I couldn’t move my feet quickly no the narrow path. Tony and I finally got to the Shangban Temple Cable Car Terminal. Yesterday, we didn’t meet many tourists. Today, many people waited at the cable car terminal to get back. I asked Tony where they stayed last night. Tony shook his head and said “I don’t know”. We reached Xiaban Temple Cable Car Terminal 20 minutes later and then came to our car.

Tony and I planned to take Red River Valley-Yingkou-Meixian route. But the local police at the Xiaban Temple told us the road was blocked by a landslide. So we took the same route as we got here. We came across three checkpoints. At each checkpoint, a man stopped your car and flushed the tires. I asked Tony why he did this. Tony said the brake was frequently used when getting down mountain. As a result, the temperature on the tire went up too. The man helped us to cool down the brake and tires.

We arrived at Tangyu at 16:00. I saw many hot spring hotels. “It must be comfortable to bath in hot springs for relax.”, I said. Tony watched his wrist watch and said “we have four hours before the sun sets. I suggest we drive to Sanmenxia City and accommodate at the motel on the express way. Then we won’t be in a hurry next day.” Thus, we didn’t stop but kept driving toward Sanmenxia City. We reached Tongguan at 19:33. Tony suggested we stayed in Tongguan for a night. I agreed and then he drove away from the expressway. We thought the Tongguan City wasn’t far from the expressway but it turned out we were wrong. A man told us that it’s about 10 kilometers from the expressway to the Tongguan City. We arrived at 20:00 and Tony said that it should be more than 10 kilometers. Anyway, we got here.

Tongguan gave a favorable impression on me. The streets were clean and it was a prosperous city in my eyes. We asked help from a police and he directed us how to reach the downtown area. Tony saw a hotel named Xinhua. Thus, we entered and asked how much it cost per night. “CNY 100 per night”, the girl at the counter said. Tony asked if I’d like to stay here. I told him that I was too tired and that I could sleep anywhere. Though my eyes couldn’t open, we still entered a restaurant in the opposite of the hotel and had our dinner. Then we got back to our room. Tony complained that the room wasn’t as good as we stayed in Tongchuan. I told him it was ok and fell into sleep immediately.

July 29

At 06:00, we checked out and left. 19 minutes later, we were on the expressway again. 30 minutes later, we reached the boundary between Shaanxi and Henan Province. Tony found that there was a petrol station ahead of us. Thus, we refueled our car and bought two boiled eggs as breakfast. After having breakfast, we left the petrol station and arrived at Luoyang Service Area on the expressway. There we took a rest for 17 minutes. Then we got to Kaifeng Service Area at 10:50 and had lunch there. Each person paid CNY 25 for lunch. Again we stayed there until 12:00. Then we drove to the boundary between Henan and Shandong Provinces. 14 minutes later, we arrived at Liangshan Service Area. Tony told me that we would reach Jinan very soon. Finally we entered Jinan from the expressway at 15:28.
Me in the sunrise

See how steep the slope is!

 More Shaanxi Travel Reviews
1. Conquering Mt. Taibai with my husband Tony --- II HUANGXIAOJING Nov 27, 2012 01:38
2. Conquering Mt. Taibai with my husband Tony --- I HUANGXIAOJING Nov 27, 2012 01:16
3. Road trip to Hanzhong / Revenge of the birds DANNYN from CN Nov 16, 2007 18:32
Comments (1)


Jan 19, 2013 02:16 Reply

Mr.ROGER from Australia said:

Fantastic adventure !

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