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Picnic in the Mountains

Popularity 12Viewed 4057 times 2015-6-17 12:52 |Personal category:Travel|System category:Life| picnic, hiking, mountains

As usual, when the weekend approaches, there will be some links about outdoor activities emerge on social network. An organizer nicknamed Uncle Tudou put on a link called Trekking Paiya Mountains on Wechat. Many people followed up, and I was one of them. When I signed up for the activity, I was dragged into a Wechat chatting group immediately. There were over a dozen people in this group and they were discussing how to meet on Sunday and how to prepare for this event.

Uncle Tudou suggested that we should have a picnic in the mountains and everybody seemed to agree on this issue. But the problem was that we've to bring so many things to the mountains, like food, fruit, gas, cooking utensils, etc. Undeterred, Uncle Tudou took the challenge and put himself in charge of assigning each one of us a task of bringing something so as to share the burden. While males were assigned to bring heavy stuff, females got things that were easier to carry. Since the Uncle Tudou knew that I had a DSLR camera, he only asked me to bring my camera, and appointed me their photographer. I was glad that I got this job to do, because I love shooting pictures, especially when I was in the wild.

We were told that we got more than 12 kilometers to cover and the highest altitude could reach about 700 meters. That was not an easy task especially considering the hot temperatures of that day. Since no one in our team walked the route before, it's not surprising that we got lost a few times. But when we got lost, we held together and didn't panic. Few of us had downloaded a map on their phone, so they could have a reference to directions. But the map was not precise enough and it showed some problem to locate where we were on the map. The first time we got lost, it took us more than half an hour to find out ourselves to be lost, and another half an hour to return back on right track, thanks to a guy we met on the road who pointed us the right direction. The second time we got lost, we were already in the mountains, and we were on our own since no one else was there. Some guys again tried to locate ourselves on the map, but failed time and time again. We walked back some distance and had some rest, while Uncle Tudou was busy on searching for the right direction. Before he came here, he had read some travelogues about other's trip to this area. Some travelogues had a brief description about how to make choices when trekkers met a fork in the road. He cross checked on those writings and tried to find some clue. Eventually, we backed up some distance to a fork, and took another road--we were back on track again.


March to the Mountains I


March to the Mountains II

The first half of the trip was grueling because of the sweltering heat and the absence of wind. We were all sweating profusely and had no choice but keep on walking until we could find a stream, where we could start picnicking. About half way up the mountain, we finally found a stream and the water was crystal clear. We had a quick survey around the place and found that it's a perfect place for picnic. We dropped our backpack on the ground and washed our hand and face with the cool water in the stream. After a brief rest, we started setting up cooking gears. Some brought vegetables to the river to be cleaned while some others were preparing a pot of soup. I knew what I was supposed to do at this very moment--this moment should be captured in camera. I held my camera and started taking pictures of them preparing, cooking and eating food. When they had smiles on their faces, I wanted them to have a lasting memory of those moments.


Into the woods


Picnicking

After the picnic, we were once again back to life. The rest of our hiking was much easier as the higher we got, the views were getting better and most importantly, the wind was getting stronger, which helped us to cool our body temperatures. We had a big celebration when we finally reached the highest peak of the mountains with the altitude of 707 meters. We celebrated the victory with a feast on a watermelon and a Hami melon as we all believed that they were the sweetest when having them on the peak. As we were tasting melons, we didn't forget who carried them all the way to this height. The guy called Mr. Feng who pulled off this feat earned himself the title "hero". Our hero carried those two melons weighing more than 15 kilograms up to 707 meters high singlehandedly and never complained. Several times, he was asked to share his burden with the rest of us, and he said no every single time.


Vertical ascending


Victory ahead

Our team was never short of heroes when I saw boys extending their hands to girls to relief them the burdens on their shoulders, and when I saw a guy reaching his backpack for Band-Aids because a girl just got her feet cut.


Hami melon for celebration


Watermelon for celebration


On top of the world


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-17 10:25

    RonJaDa: Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious probl ...
    Hi, Ron, thank you very much for your concern and kind suggestions. Yes, it's a valuable lesson for me.

  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-10 19:39

    Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious problems.

    My recommendation would be to talk to your boss about it to ensure you are covered for future trips. If you legally have to declare a business trip and get the $250 visa, your company should be able to add that cost to your customers bill for your trip.

    It is always hard knowing how to deal with corrupt officials, but I guess this is a valuable lesson for you.

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