Tuesday, November 02, 2004
After this home town wandering, we walked the kilometer up to C'sgrave-which also happens to be where all his descendants have been and continue to be buried. What does this mean? A ~2,500 year old graveyard littered with dead people and their marking stones (or big burial mounds). Did I mention that the day we were there was Halloween? We saw the dead Big Guy. What can I say? It's a mound with him 'in it', a marker stone column and stuff. What else can I say? The guy has a twisted sense of humor. There is a little hut off to the side of his mound where his followers lived for 3 years after his death (and another nut for 3 after that) keeping watch on his grave? Like it was going to run away? Don't ask. Anyway, it was a few steps raised and as I was coming back down (dig camera in hand) the old fart shoved my feet off the very very slick rocky steps and I came down hard, my right elbow taking most of the impact (in fact, I think I may have landed only on my elbow, the rest of me hitting the ground several seconds later). Don't worry the camera was ok. My arm, however, swelled impressively and I continue to bang it on whatever is handy to remind myself how freakin' painful it is. Also sustained mild whiplash and a hip bruise. Way to go me! Here's the most impressive part: there were 2 Chinese guys off to the side. The one watching me (they always are) laughed, of course. BUT, he turned away and was making his best effort to discreetly laugh! Unheard of! I was very impressed.
On we went. The place is huge and very cool. Most graves are marked with tombstone type things about 5 foot high by 6" thick by 2-3 footwide. They are randomly scattered, slightly rolling hills, tree upon tree covered with shrink-wrap looking spider web type goo (even the leaves), it was foggy and misty the air unmoving no noise (except the not far enough off constant honking) and very Halloween-esque, which was appropriate because according to my watch it was Oct 31. Cool stuff. We cruised the back dirt trails there a bit, my using my jacket pocket as a sling, and then we left.
Day is done/gone the sun/from the lakes from the hills from the sky/all is well/ safely rest/god is nigh.
Not much to speak about yesterday. A Monday morning, a relaxing day, mostly spent in the park across the street from our hotel. It was a sunny warm day and we could see Tai Shan (the holy mountain we were leaving to climb that night at 2am), and we sat around writing postcards and journaling. Then our celebrity status kicked in. 2 Chinese girls came over and asked if they could take their pics with us. Ok,why not? The Talker (the other, the Mute, had better english comprehension though she barely spoke to us) had this to say: "You are beautiful" (to Rachelle, obviously). "You need to shave" (not to R). Hm. Then we sat around for about an hour, the girls trying to talk to us while rifling thru our postcards and journals and stuff, a small crowd gathering to watch oblivious to the fact that we don'tspeak/understand Chinese (but they blathered on anyway). Fun times.
We were in bed by 4:30PM and were up at 9PM. Due to paranoia abou thiking all night and missing sunrise atop Tai Shan, we walked away from our hotel at midnight instead of 2am (Lonely Planet claims it's a4-hour hike from the trailhead. Our hotel is about a 20-minute walk from there)
The rest is yet to come.....