Scandinavia

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Waking up that morning in the tent was horrible:

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I decided to go back to sleep and wait for the rain to stop.

After a while a group of farmers appeared:

camp in the morning

They gave me some bread to chew on and told me to better get going:

“Can’t be staying out here at night – don’t you know about the BAOZI?”

baozi…

Steamed dumplings? 包子?

Spores? 孢子?

Leopards! 豹子!

Leopards?? WTF??

I couldn’t help laughing.

They were serious though:

“No, really! What do you think why the house over there has been abandoned?”

abandoned house

So what, an abandoned house…

“It’s the B A O Z I !!”

I took my time packing up my stuff in the rain.

Leopards… it seemed too odd to me.

The farmers had also told me to go back to the creek and take the other path up:

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So there I was again.

…walking through Scandinavia:

fog

A little bit of rain and snow, heavy fog, and dark sinister trees standing around everywhere.

Scandinavia.

I was going for the mountain top, but I couldn’t see it, so I just kept on going up, until I reached a tunnel:

tunnel entrance

People had been telling me to visit the memorial of the Communist Party’s Long March on Liupanshan, so I figured I was on the right way here:

gate

Wrong.

What started out as a footpath turned into a creek:

creek

And then the creek turned into a steep mountain side:

lost

You know, there are some sections of this walk that I’d never want to go back to:

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This is one of them.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I arrived on some kind of road:

road

And even though I couldn’t see a thing, I just believed it would take me to the memorial.

For once, it really did:

statue

Liupanshan.

All major statesmen in the PR China have visited this place:

mountaintop

This is the last mountain that the Chairman and his CP had to overcome in their Long March of 1934/35.

Very symbolic.

The memorial itself is just a huge block that kind of sits there, isolated on a massive platform:

monument

There’s a museum downstairs, dedicated to the glorification of the CP, and the whole place is stacked with devotional objects about the Chairman:

Mao statue

Even though some big shot politician from Beijing had just visited here two days ago, the whole place still seemed kind of deserted today.

Just the occasional people sightseeing, and a friendly bunch of guards who were working up there:

These guards gave me some milk to drink and let me rest up in their museum

They gave me some milk for my cookies, and since I hadn’t eaten or rested since the morning, I enjoyed sitting down and having a long chat with them.

We talked about a lot of things, and at some point I kind of ironically mentioned the farmers telling me about the leopards in the mountain.

“What, you didn’t believe them?” the guards seemed surprised, “of course there are B A O Z I up here, we’ve all them before!”

WTF??

Well, I hadn’t seen any leopards.

The way down the western side of the mountain was as much a breeze as the eastern side had been a pain:

road down

After a while, I got to a village, and there were houses and cars and people:

teddybear in a dress

And most importantly there was a good chance to buy something to drink.

When the sun started to set and decided she was going to go out in style and grandeur, nothing bothered me anymore:

sunset

Not even my hurting feet.

What, you think I’m totally zen now?

Hell no, first thing I did when I arrived at the hotel was get online and look up “liupanshan leopard” to find out if it was true.

And apparently it was.



  • Hermann

    roaaaaarrrr says the leopard. why the fuck didn't I try the tent.

    Reply

  • Wanda

    Christoph – sometimes it scares the CRAP out of me to think about what you're doing! Please be careful!

    Reply

  • Norbert

    Hi Christoph,

    whow! Found your blog through this story:
    http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/27/27662/1.html

    Your "trip" is awesome! Stories AND pictures nice to read and look at. Thank you soooo much… My dry daily work has a highlight now:-)

    Perhaps I may ask you for the full content via the rss feed. That would be very nice; robozwerg or ni haiyu can modify the wordpress.

    Thanks again; you have a new fan and reader!

    Greetings from Stade/Germany,


    Norbert

    Reply

  • jule

    das video von dem aufstieg sieht echt nach einem "hätt'-ich-das-gewusst-wär-ich-wo-anders-lang-gegangen-aufstieg" aus…
    und leoparden!?! ein glück, dass du nur die rebhühner in der nacht gehört hast!! wobei, vielleicht haben die sich da grad für dich geopfert…. 😉
    aber im ernst, wandas 'please be careful' kann ich nur unterstützen!

    Reply

  • Steven

    That was your 20.3km "Long March". What 's a adventure!

    Reply

  • John

    yes, there were leopards in the mountains of nepal, so it's easy to believe they might be there in china also. they are nocturnal creatures, solitary and shy, and can easily subsist on small game and livestock. but probably not German hikers, unless they found them sleeping! 😉 but seriously, just be aware of what's out there as you venture farther from civilization. can't be too careful!

    Reply

  • Daniel

    I know this is easy to say sitting here besides the heating with my feet perfectly fine and without a heavy backpack on… but I admire what you're doing and I wish you all the best. I will certainly be following up on your blog!

    Reply

  • Maggie

    Yes, I agree with John. You will never be too careful on this longest way. Take care.

    Reply

  • Christoph

    Hermann: I doubt he would use foul language, though; the leopard is a ninja, he always stays polite.
    Wanda: As careful as I can, just too dumb at times! 😉
    Norbert: Hey, happy you like it! Some friends are already getting the feed via RSS it seems, unfortunately I don't know anything about this though – but I'll look into it, thanks!
    jule: Hehe, danke den lieben Hühnern!
    Steven: I kept wondering how it was for the CP to climb up this mountain…
    John: I'm always trying my best, but sometimes…
    Daniel: Happy you like it!
    Maggie: 傻老外哈! 😉

    Reply

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