Day 2 (journey to Shuang Qiao Gou): Peng Mao Yu
We dragged ourselves out of our cozy and comfortable beds after being woken up at 7am by the blaring alarms of 6 mobile phones. We had yoghurt drinks, walnut milk as well as some snacks for a light breakfast. The long anticipated journey to Siguniang is about to begin! It started off as a drowsy four-wheeled ride towards the distant Ying Xiu town, which was also a town badly stricken by the Sichuan Earthquake.
We shared a car with a 24-years old personal trainer and avid climber named Young. Out of curiosity, we asked how he made his decisions in life and ended up as a trainer. He said he followed his passion and is enjoying his current career and most certainly, one of life’s greatest pleasures comes from being able to gain subsistence while exploring your passion. It was a close yet faraway dream for many of us. As the bus ride continued, many of us drifted off to sleep, dreaming about our passion.
We arrived at our intermediate stop at Ying Xiu town to have our lunch. There we engaged a small shop selling home cooked food. Despite the simplicity of the meal, the piping hot dumpling soup felt like a magical potion as it filled up every part of my “freezing” body. We had ascended about 1000m above sea level. The small town was rebuilt after the unfortunate earthquake which took place in 2008. After our heartwarming meal, we spent some time exploring the town and appreciating the surrounding nature and serenity.
The noodle soup shop under the yellow and red signage!
A group pic before leaving!
We continued our ride to our destination at Shuang Qiao Gou. The ride up was both interesting and boring while we circled the road around the mountain, resulting in headaches and nauseating feels in some of us.
Taking a break around the bend as one of the 4-wheeled drive was smoking up and had to be tied behind another 4-wheeled to move up.
Dry and arid hill side nevertheless still seems magnificient.
Siguniang range in the distance, the perfect place to take the shot. If you look closely in the mid ground, you could see the path which we will take to trek up Mt. Dafeng!
As we get higher, we were constantly being mesmerized by the ever-changing scenery around us. At every rest stops, we paused to take in the breathtaking views surrounding us, slowly taking everything in. After several stops and snoozes, we finally reached the mouth of Shuang Qiao Gou where we boarded a coach to bring us to our lodging hostel.
It was a short ride on the coach into the natural reserve, but the environment that embraced us is even more scenic than the journey up. It is as though somebody “photoshopped” it there. It was amazing.
We finally reached our camping hostel and was greeted by a passing herd of cows.
As the cows hurried pass us…
The building was modestly decorated on the outside. And our bunks consisted of steel double beds and a toilet. To our astonishment, warm water came running through the taps as we turned it. A drastic drop in temperature as we ascended from 900m above sea level to 3200m resulted in a larger toll on our bodies than we had anticipated and the gushing warm water is our best consolation. Many of us experienced changes in our bodies such as heavy breathing and constant migraines as our body tried to acclimatize to the change in environment. We all turned in an early to have adequate rest for tomorrow’s climb.
By the way, the night sky here is amazing and gorgeous. The night sky painted with sparkling stars almost made us forget about the cold.