SETTLING IN: Day 47, Tuesday October 15 2013

After cleaning up the mess from the day before Nate and I went to the “hole in the ceiling” noodle restaurant. When we walked in some of the family that worked there were eating soup and an egg dish. When I asked them what it was they gave me a big bowl of soup!

We had decided to climb the mountain we had walked to the other day. We took the bus there this time to save ourselves time. We weren’t sure where the way up would be, and we followed a narrow path that led in the right direction. Some construction workers were working along the path. We walked through a little grouping of buildings and then followed a dirt trail into some hills where the remnants of crops stood amongst the dry grasses. We scrambled up a very steep slope, getting covered with hundreds of tiny hitchhikers in the process. We could see a large graveyard below us that extended up the side of the mountain. We wanted to go down and check it out, but it was clear that a direct route would not be the most ideal. Back down the hill we went to try the climb from a different angle.

We were stopped on our way out by three Chinese guys in business suits. We thought perhaps they were there to survey the land for purchase, but instead they told us something in Chinese and pointed at the graveyard. Next thing we knew they were climbing the hitchhiker filled dirt hill in their nice black suits. “Do as the Romans do” (or in this case the Chinese) Nate said and followed them up. They climbed down the loose rocks on the other side with apparent ease as Nate and I scrambled not to tumble down after them. We followed them through the rows and rows of graves until we decided it was time to part ways and continue our quest to the “tippy top”.

The graves were marked with stone lions. Some consisted of concrete boxes that looked too small to hold a human being, while others were simply mounds of dirt. A few of these looked like they’d been dug up recently, though there were no signs of human remains. Yellow papers, disintegrating from the rain, were left stuffed in the lions mouths, or next to the stones.

When we found the real way to the top it was down a well kept path of cobble stone and stairs. There were man made ponds, and exercise equipment. We put down our bags and played on all of the exercise machines before we headed back down the hill. A couple of Chinese people seemed very amused by our antics and followed along behind us copying our moves on the equipment.

On the way back Nate picked up a vest (as he couldn’t find any coats his size) to fend off the cooler temperatures, and we came home to steaming bowls of soup made from leftover thanksgiving duck!

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