One of the things on Barbara's to do list before she left Tai'an was to do a Sunrise climb of Mt Tai. Based on the weather reports we decided to climb the Mountain on Tuesday 30 September. We chose this day because we believed that it would be less crowded then the 01 October as this is a national holiday. Also the weather report indicated that it would be clear.
We left the apartments at 11 pm. We had intended going up the central route but the taxi driver couldn't understand us and took us to where the buses leave from. So we went through a park and walked up the bus road. It was so quiet as there were no other people on this route except for the bus loads that kept passing.
Anyway there were 2 guys on bikes that came down the road. One of them turned around and came back. This put the wind up me a little bit. But when I thought about it the Chinese would not hurt a foreigner. I think he may have been asking us if we wanted a lift on his bike. When he realised we couldn't understand him he left straight away. It wouldn't have even been a 1 minute scenario.
Barbara got sick about half way up. She was nauseous and dizzy. We had to stop a couple of times. Probably for at least 30 minutes on each occasion. At one time she was lying down. I had visions that we were going to stay at this point for the night. We couldn't have walked down in the dark especially if she was feeling dizzy. And I couldn't leave her there and go up by myself. That would have been totally selfish.
Anyway she pulled through but it was a slow climb. I saw these Chinese men with like two pieces of bamboo and a chair in the middle. They were carrying people up for a fee. I pointed them out to Barbara hoping she might hitch a ride. Anyway she asked them and paid Y200 $33 for a lift. This was a god send. Otherwise we might have still been climbing.
These little Chinese men are so strong. At some stages they were running up the stairs. Of course I had to run to keep up. I was making light of it though, saying, "Look out, Empress Barbara is coming through." Barbara enjoyed it. I was just trying to keep her spirits up as I thought she might be a little upset that she couldn't make it.
I had gone a head and waited for Barbara and the Chinese men. The next thing I see Barbara walking up. They had dropped her off.
I would walk ahead and then wait at a platform for Barbara to turn up. When we could see the last dreaded steps, Barbara said, "Off you go, I'll meet you up the top." In normal circumstances I would have stayed with her but this time was different - there was a sunrise to be seen.
Off I went and when I reached the top I sent her a text message to tell her I was at the top and to meet me at the rock. I was climbing down the rock when I saw Barbara and yelled out to her. She made it to the top but didn't see the sunrise. That's OK making it to the top is an achievement in itself.
I had a professional photo take of me at the rock with the sunset behind me. The photo is great except when you look closely you can tell that I haven't sleep in 24 hours. The bags under my eyes look like I have had a big night!
Normally in photos I look like my sister Wendy, however, in this photo I look like my Mother. Any chance one day I can have a photo taken and look like me!
On the return trip we caught the Cable car down and then the bus as Barbara was still not feeling very well. I couldn't believe on the bus ride that the bus driver was going through the mountain bends whilst talking on the mobile phone. I swear if I survive until January 09 it will be a miracle!
We arrived back at the apartment at 9.30 am. I stayed up until 11.30 am and then went to bed. I woke up at 4pm and tried to stay awake until 8.30 pm to get a normal nights sleep.