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Only 1600 steps to go.......

Cuihua Mountain

Today was originally going to be another day at Panda conservation but as we're weren't able to get involved with the project we thought it would be best to climb 1600 steps up Cuihua mountain. Smart decision I hear you say? Apart from the lousy weather which was the worst we have had for the last two weeks it was actually a good decision and although the weather was overcast it still offered great views.

We started our walk to the steps and then the heavens opened but luckily we were able to duck under and go into the ice cave.The construction of it was impressive considering that the steps had been laid between these huge rocks which looked like they had fallen on each other.

What we found as we went deeper into the cave was that temperature dropped about a couple of degrees and the rocks were very cold.

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And Sarah was scared by Gollum!

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The first ascent up the steps led us to good spot for a photo.....

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After this point it became more and more steep and the legs began to feel the burn!! We began to see the summit of the mountain and it was a long way up.

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On the way up we passed a small house which was pretty amazing because the building materials they would need would of been carried up and I started to remember my time spent garden landscaping as a labourer and was thankful we didn't have to contend with building on mountains!! The same thing could be said for the steps and the railings. Each step had three inch thick slabs laid down and the railings were made out of concrete so the amount of cement mix that would have to made, it doesn't bear thinking about.

Later we reached an iron bridge and made sure we adhered to the safety sign!

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Sarah and I stayed back to take more photos and was able to see the girls reach the top.

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The final ascent was all that was left and the weather began to get a little worse with high winds and cold rain. We all huddled to together to get a photo and I made a few friends as well

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Making the descent was a easier but after a long time going down your legs began to wobble! Before we reached the bottom we got another good group shot.

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We got another good photo at the lake which was situated at the bottom of the mountain range.

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Having defeated the mountain it was time for lunch and our guide took us to a famous restaurant in Xi'an which serves roast chicken! . The restaurant was outside but under cover which wasn't ideal but the chicken was good. However, it was presented in a slightly different way to our roast Sundays with the whole chicken (head included) roasted and squashed on a plate to grab at with your chopsticks.

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The meal went down well and was washed down with a rice wine mixture that looked like cloudy lemonade, very sweet, which I quite liked. We all agreed that as it was a poor day for weather a movie night was needed and so back at the apartment we grabbed duvets put on A Man On Fire with Denzel! Not your average Sunday afternoon movie but a great one nonetheless.

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Tomorrow would be our first day teaching at the local school.

Stay tuned for more tales

Dan.

Posted by doyledan 03:16 Archived in China

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