Published: July 30th 2009July 23rd 2009
Erlongshan - Two Dragon Mountain
We went on a trip with all of the Joy school staff from all of the school's in Daqing - completely paid for by our boss! So altogether there was about 70 people who went along.
On Monday morning, the 20th we got up at around 3am and were at the train station by about 10 past 4. It was a rainy and miserable morning but it soon lightened when we arrived at the train station to some very excited and happy people! The train departed at 4.49am to Harbin. Unfortunately there were no seats left when we boarded so we stood up in very cramped conditions for the 2 hour train ride.
When we arrived in Harbin we were met by Jason and soon enough we were all scurrying to the bus. There were so many people, it could have been so easy to get lost if there weren't so many of us. We all piled onto either Bus 1 or 2 and quickly found out if we were on the wrong bus. All the foreigners except Christina were on bus 1 so it was a
The da team!
Staff listening to plans for the day!
really nice setting - too bad Tina wasn't there to top it off though! After a couple of hours in the bus we arrived at our destination - Erlongshan. We gathered outside the hotel where Jason and the tour guides etc told everyone what the plan was - we just followed along receiving a bit of translation here and there. We all quickly checked into our rooms, put on our activity clothes and shoes and re-gathered downstairs. Steam Boat Ride
First on the hit list was a steam boat ride around the lake. It was a little chilly but a really relaxing way to start our adventure. The boat pulled in at a mini amusement park which was completely low budget but very cool. Fun and Games
Some of us had a go on some dirt buggy's/go karts. I bought a cup of raspberries off an old lady, they were incredible and I only paid 2yuan for them! Very cheap! Next up was the option to go on a horse ride, no-one did. Wayne and I thought it'd be cool til we saw how it was working... ie. a lady runs next to the horse the whole way
Wayne having fun on the mini-bungee
whipping it. So, as you can gather, we passed on that one. There was the option to go on a couple of not-so-safe looking rollercoaster type things, a few of the chinese teacher's had a go but all the foreigners stayed securely on land. Wayne, Christina, Yuki, Sandy, Zoey and others all had a go on the mini-bungee. It was fun to watch as the men running the activity would give them extra bounce by holding onto their harnesses and jumping a few times with them and then finally letting them go like a slingshot. Lunch Time!!!
A large spread was provided for each table - courtesy of the school including beer. Some of us got a little drunkie at lunch - ensuring an interesting afternoon. Counter Strike - in the forest
With a full belly and slightly intoxicated a few of us gladly walked with the rest of the staff with the destination in mind being the hotel, not too far up the road we realised we were about to go into battle, guns and all! So we sucked it up, joined with our allies and prepared for battle. With guns in hand, camouflage hats and vests
with touchy batteries we moved to our starting point. Fortunately at the end of the Chinese instructions Jason gave us a quick once over so we had a reasonably good idea on what lay ahead and more importantly how to kill people. It was just laser - no paintball and we had no limit on the amount of 'bullets' we could fire thus Rambo style was completely acceptable. Wayne and I went our separate ways, I joined up with Christina with the aim to cause some damage. I soon realised I wasn't killing anyone as my battery was dead and cable that connected my gun to my pack kept falling out. So for the first game I was playing charades with some Chinese people to try and fix my gun and gear. Wayne met us at camp before game 2 absolutely covered in mud. He had been getting really into it, crawling around, unfortunately he only got a few shots in so his aim for the next round was to get out of the mud and into the action a bit more. Christina and I had a similar battle plan as we had figured that maybe our quiet sneaking approach
was us just being chickens. The next round Tina got a fair few sweet shots in, this time I was shooting but wasn't hitting anyone lol. Wayne came out really well with something like 11 kills which was an awesome effort. All in all it was a lot of fun. Grass Skiing
Being a Summer trip there's no snow - only sunshine. So we went grass skiing! We put on our ski boots, picked up our stick things and rollers which we would strap our boots to, as well as knee and elbow pads and a helmet. Before long we were all waddling out onto the grass and then slowly climbing/rolling up the big hill. It was a big work out rolling up a hill! But of course there was one person who was a natural and just scooted up the hill no worries....Wayne. At one point I even rolled backwards and fell over, lol. He was cool as a cucumber. Eventually Wayne, Jason, Jane and myself made it to the top together and then we ski'd down the hill, Jane and I stopped a couple of times - on our bums, Jason and Wayne were a lot cooler.
lol Big Flying fox
Nearly everyone had a go on the Flying fox, it was a 24m high climb up like a tower thing and then at the top a man dressed you in a harness and down you went. Wayne mentioned to me that I should make sure the carabee is properly done up, as I watched I noticed that he was clipping people to the carabee but not threading it down over the clip- hope that makes sense. So before my turn I gave it an extra spin. I was so nervous - as were heaps of the chinese teacher's but it was hardly something to be scared from as it was quite an easy ride. Everyone was fine and seemed to enjoy it. Fun and Games
After the flying fox there was free time for us to participate in some other activities that we paid for ourselves. One thing included some zorb type of balls. Basically you hop into a plastic de-flated ball, while you're inside it they inflate it and then you get pushed onto a bit of water where you have to try to stand up. They also had Star Wars style dodgem
cars that could reverse! That was pretty exciting! As well as your usual shoot the balloon or throw the ball and win a prize stuff. Party Time
After some dinner - which we didn't have time to shower prior to so all of us went to the restaurant sticky, in Wayne's case, muddy as well. We ate a lot and Jason (our boss) challenged each table to finish at least 10 bottles of beer. I'm not too sure if our table won or were a close second but we sure did finish at least 10 bottles of beer. Go team! There were 3 aussies at the table - being Michael, Wayne and myself. When we get back to Aus I'm confident we'll be able to down beer like no-one else we know, I'm starting to be able to skull beer without feeling totally crazy or spilling it on myself - Wayne is the same. We'll have to see if there's some sweet beer drinking comps around or at least place some bets. After dinner we all went back to the hotel where we had time to get changed and have a very very quick cold shower if we wanted. Wayne and I opted for the cold shower as we were feeling quite gross. Soon after we were back in the bus heading to our party location. There were two big bonfires set up, ready to be lit, beer was on the house and meat kebabs may have been as well. All 4 Joy school's did a group performance combined with different people/school's doing extra performances of dance, singing, chanting or acting. We, the foreigners decided/were told that we should do something only minutes before everything started. We ended up doing a rendition of 'We will rock you', even some of the chinese teacher's got up with us and performed it. Wayne was the conductor for his school's performance and he did an awesome job, it even looked like he knew what he was doing and he only got told what he was doing moments before the show started as well. My part in the performance with our school was far from awesome, it was unclear where they wanted me to stand, what actions I should do and if I'd actually have to sing into the microphone. In any case it was a cool night, the bonfires were awesome. At the end everyone got up and danced, we learnt a new dance. it seems like it's one of those dances like the nutbush - just about everyone knows it and it's very easy to learn. Day 2
Up at 7am. We went in the bus again to a mountain, climbed to the top and then had some time to relax and get lots of pictures. Fortunately it was a pretty easy climb which was great as we were all exhausted from the day before. Some of the gals bought some local nic-nacs, some jewellery, some whistles, or leaf designs. Afterwards we went back to the restaurant for some lunch, then to the hotel to pick up our belongings then we went in the bus to head back to Harbin. In Harbin everyone went their separate ways as everyone was now free to go and enjoy their summer holiday! On the train ride back Wayne and I travelled with Christina, Michael, Shan and Simon. Eventually we all got seats so it was a far more pleasant trip back than the one to Harbin.