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Published: June 17th 2012
We just got back from the longest two days of my life. On friday we were supposed to leave at 9am for a field trip to Emei Shan, a huge Buddhist mountain. As per usual I overslept but then caught a bus on my own to catch up to the group, which went pretty smoothly. We stayed in a hotel that had too many spiders for comfort but the area was absolutely beautiful. Our group was collectively going to go a mile up the mountain to see the first Buddhist temple, but 6 of us decided we wanted to climb the full 18 miles. The mountain paths were ENTIRELY stairs, so we spent saturday doing our first 8hour trek up the mountain.
We had been warned about the wild monkeys but hadn't encountered them yet, so we were pretty excited. The first time we ran into them I was walking in the front, and a mom and baby monkey started walking toward me. Then it started coming too fast so I tried to poke it away with my walking stick, which provoked it to snatch the stick and run at me, so I screamed and retreated. My friends and I
then went in a group past quickly as we could see the dad monkey approaching and did not want to get bitten. The second time we saw the monkeys there were about 8 on either side of us, and one of them leapt onto my friend's back, and as she ran away screaming it chased her up a flight of stairs. Another one grabbed my walking stick, I backed off and my friend had to play tug of war to get it back. As we were getting closer to the hotel we were going to stay in on the side of the mountain, we came upon one more group of monkeys. These ones were not nearly as hesitant about us, and wanted to take our things. First one jumped on my friend in the front of the group and clung on til it grabbed the cookie wrapper out of her pocket. When it realized it was empty, it jumped on me, snatched my soda out of my backpack, and literally unscrewed and drank it. A third monkey purposedly shook water off of a tree onto us.
Once we had made it about 13 or 14 miles up, we broke
for the night at a hotel. It cost 20 American dollars for a room! Of course the only time I tripped and fell this whole trip was in the bathroom because the floor was so slippery...We crashed there and woke up to finally go see the top of the mountain at about 10am. When we finally got to the summit there was fog everywhere and it was particularly cold, but one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. It was covered in Buddhist temples, icons, and statues, with incensce burning everywhere, and everything was gold. We spent about and hour at the top looking around then finally got in the cable cars to go back home. Half the time we were climbing it was POURING, so most of our clothes were completely soaked, but it was an amazing experience, and we were proud to be able to say we climbed a mountain over 10,000 feet high!
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