Hiking up the Western Hills
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
70Trip End Jul 31, 2011
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Once all was done, we had acquired sunblock, baked goods, toothpaste and a nice 12 pack of bottled water
We noticed the abundance of green algae and dead fish in the lake. With the green algae, red dirt soil and blue sky, the colors seemed to be quite vibrant on the sunny day. After crossing the bridge, we realized that we could continue along the road but the road turned into a freeway. We decided to hop onto the cable car lift and take the lazy way up the mountain. We probably saved about a good 1-2 hours of walking by taking the 5 minute cable car ride. The cable car dropped us off in the middle of the Western Hills, where you would purchase your admission ticket to see the Dragon's Gate. We used our student IDs for the discounted tickets once again and entered the park along with the other tourists.
The park was located along the edge of the mountainside. The vantage point from the park consisted of mostly a view of the lake and the city
The audio device provided us a map to following and a red dot would light up on the map if we had passed through a significant point. We went through the park at a brisk pace and found ourselves at the top of the "walkable" path. After observing other guests, we elected to go off the main road and climb the rocky terrain of the park. It was extremely dangerous and pretty fun, we often found ourselves back tracking as some gaps between the rocks were huge. We were able to follow most of the guests as they led the way towards the summit of the Western Hills. However, we did lag behind as we elected to take many photos along the way.
The view from the top was breathtaking, with sheer drops that would cause panic in the hearts of many. With our curiosity, we often took a closer look at the drops without a second thought. As we continued up towards the summit, we were often separated because we each took different paths. There was the hard way, and the even harder way. Most of the paths included lots of bush and branches that blocked the view of the actual path. While other paths were just going over many boulders and rock formations.
As we neared the top, David being an adventurous one, took a tumble and scared most of us
Since we were near the top, we took it easily and slow. But the summit had other ideas, the path the top became an intense workout of climbing rock after rock. We had to use the three-point stance in order to ensure our safety and balance. After a short while, we reached a point we had deemed the summit. Most of the other guests of the park had already reached this point and decided to relax and enjoy the view of Dian Chi Lake and the city of Kunming. We rested up, had David patch up his wounds and snacked on some bread we had purchased earlier in the day at Carrefour
After enjoy the view, we began our descent back into the park. This was no easy task, as we didn't exactly follow a trail up to the summit. We sort of made our way up in an non linear fashion, so this made backtracking quite difficult. We had to go down a path we were unfamiliar with and did end up making several wrong turns. After half an hour, we made it back to the main path and discovered the park was actually closed. Nevertheless the employees of the park allowed us to continue on as it was the only way to exit the park.
Once we reached the area where we purchased our admission tickets, there were people with minivans offering to take us all down the rest of the way. We reluctantly agreed and only after riding in the car for 15 minutes, making the twists and turns, the car ride down the hill turned out to be a smart decision. We were dropped off at the base of the hill, from here we took the bus back into town and towards Jin Bi Ma Square. Our dinner was a noodle house not too far from the hostel. The local mango drink the restaurant served was quite refreshing as well. All and all, it was a good day, besides David's mild concussion.
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