Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 4: The Hike Up Xiangshan (Elephant Hill)

~17th March 2014~
Rapid Transit Signboard la...
You see that right? Take the Xindian line... what colour? Either red or blue or neither of both. Can't remember. Please do your own research. I'm just sharing my experience, I can't give much details as I'm not working with the tourism board *wink*. I have my reason why it is a must to hike up this Elephant Hill, a direct translation from the Chinese name Xiangshan. But if you check the web, it would be written as Elephant Mountain. I do not think I want to call it a Mountain because that would be like hiking up Mount Kinabalu which would take the whole day to reach. How could you call a 50 metres higher ground a mountain? Just keep it to just a hill, okay~! No need to argue, it's called common sense.
The never ending escalators...
Mi mama and Pinky are two very sporting people. That's why Pinky will always be my travel buddy. If I travel with others, nobody would want to go hiking on the first day. No travel agent will take you for a hike because even if the agent is willing to take you there, there are others whom you should consider in the group made up of people of various walks of life. Another reason why we refused to follow any tour groups. We were three countryside people, seeing escalator for our first time. That's very long. How many floors down?
Open your eyes real big for this sign~!
Don't say I didn't tell you. After you've step out of the train at Xiangshan station, take the second exit. Ermmm... I think that should be correct. You will come across a small park for the residents. Turn to your right and walk along. You will come to a few luxurious service apartments on your right after you've crossed the road to your left. Walk along until you see this brown and dirty and dark signboard. I edited this photo, okay... If not you can't see anything as we've miscalculated the time of dusk. No doubt we are in the same time zone but the sunset time is an hour earlier so by the time we arrived, it's already around 6:30p.m.
Mi mama taking the lead~!
It's not a jungle trail that you'll be taking. There are quite a number of people walking up and down the steps. Be warned that the steps were about plus minus a thousand up and down. Those are really killer steps because I prefer hiking on jungle tracks.
The steps that did not seem to end...
Whenever you see those who hiked without any difficulties, don't bother to ask them how long more to reach the top. The answers they would give you are the same all over the world. The seasoned hikers would tell you either "Just around the corner" or "About to reach already, very near only". Those are all lies~! Terrible white lies~!! I learnt that just around the corner means a few more corners left and right and then left and right. About to reach means another 20 minutes or so. You see those killer steps? Of course that wasn't as bad as the Great Wall of China in Beijing where you could actually kiss the next step and you have to use your four paws going up. This one is endless and I'm not wearing my hiking shoes. We were all in the wrong attire and I have too many excess baggage that I'm carrying up~! We saw quite a few ladies wearing mini skirts and stilettos hiking up. I would really love to ask,"Don't your feet hurt like crazy?" I was wearing my comfortable cushion-laced shoes but the feet were not comfortable. I have shoes for different activities. And miniskirts going up a hill? I only wear skirts when I go to church or when I go dating with my hubby. 
The dark way down...
After I'm done with what I wanted to do, I can actually ticked off my bucket list, but the walk down was rather a tedious one. It was really dark so be mindful of your steps. You might miss a step or two which would be rather dangerous. Some of the bends were brightly lit but some parts were not. You can prepare yourself by bringing a torch with you or use the torch apps from your smartphone. No wonder they call it a smartphone. A phone which can act as a torch. Smart indeed.
The walkway outside the luxurious service apartments...
Go back to where you came from. That's the only way out unless you have someone from there picking you up. The park would be secluded by then. I was done by 8:30pm but it felt like the whole night that I have spent there. I'm a mad tourist, I know. If you see me with my camera, you must really have the patience because I will be a very slow person. Without my camera, then I'm very fast. The only thing is, my camera is always with me. 
The extremely hungry and tired travel buddy...
There... there... from where you come from. Exit #2. There's another exit that heads to the other side. That's my awesome and sporting travel buddy who doesn't complain. She's really tired because she's not a hiker and she has gone without rice for the whole day. 
Happy at the sound of food hunting~!
It's really easy to cheer her up. I promised that she can have two bowls of rice as we're going to hunt for food immediately after we leave this place. See.... she's smiling.... Mi mama also very happy. Food cheers everybody up~! 

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