Aug 10, 2007
Aug 01, 2008
On Friday morning, I was briefly told that I would be going to Huang Shan in the next week as a kind of foreigners tourist trip. Great, I thought, a free trip to Anhui's most beautiful area. Four days, and no further information, later I found myself on a bus with 50 other foreigners (where do they hide??) equally bewildered as to what exactly we were going to do for three days. Having arrived in Huang Shan city, we were told that we had the day to ourselves and spent the next 12 hours trying to communicate with each other in a mishmash of English, Chinese and various other native tongues among us while attempting to fend off over-enthusiastic glove/hat/scarf/tea/map sellers. After a good sleep we knew nothing except that we were to be at breakfast 6.40am sharp. Suspicions started to arise at the receipt of matching t-shirts, 'Athlete' badges and one of those sticky numbers given to runners. Another bus trip later and we were thrust towards a starting line with Chinese people in tiny shorts and determined expressions and we learnt that we were here to run up the highest mountain in Anhui as fast as we could - foreigners against locals..... Needless to say, I decided on the old tried and tested approach (PE lessons seem so long ago) of slinking towards the back and dodging the crowds in order to ascend at a normal speed and get a few pictures along the way! Huang Shan was really book-beautiful but it's such a shame we didn't have more time to enjoy it. Watch this space for another batch of beautiful pictures and anecdotes of Huang Shan.