下有苏杭… But You’ve Gotta Hike Up to Get the Best View

Run Route Over Hangzhou

Ran the ridges above West Lake with a Kazakh and a Belgian today.  Paths are known to exist back in those hills, but nobody’s ever bothered to make any kind of map showing where they go.  So we decided to get up early and just go, figuring that it’s impossible to get too far off track when navigating around a big lake in a city of 6 million.  This being China, we should have encountered nothing but slow crowds and that ever-persistent “fog.”  But instead, we had the unmarked trails pretty mostly to ourselves, and didn’t seem to be sharing the air with too much other stuff either.  All in all, a good fast 14km route with a view (pencilled sloppily in yellow above – click the picture for a blown-up view).

Below is a picture looking down from our path into Dragon Well village, tucked back in the hills from the lake.  Those tea plants right there represent serious money for whoever owns them, given the top-ranked status of this little valley’s Dragon Well Tea among 1 billion tea drinkers.

PA150816 Stitch 2

Now continuing with the topic of hiking, here’s an action shot from Owen’s (and Mom’s) week-long cultural excursion to Jiālìfúníyà (加利福尼亚). They’ll be back in town just in time to get ready for our next hiking trip this coming weekend.  Now’s the time to take on nearby mountains: the temps are cool, the crowds are small, the skies are mostly clear. And that sleeping kid in the backpack ain’t getting any lighter.

Owen bags another peak

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