After a weekend hiking the various beauteous ridges of the Huangshan mountain area, I am left a little bereft of words. I saw a number of them available at the park: most of the various points of interest were all named hilariously, like a bunch of Christian inspirational albums masquerading as a mountainous region. Of course, with these words in mind, and my own words sapped out of me by so much sun and hiking, I’m a little dry on things to bring to you. My legs are achey, and so is my face, so here are the pretty pictures, is what I’m saying.
Though I like to think of myself as a rampaging paragon of travel capability, I still often stumble blindly into the dark beyond. There are times when, despite all of my puffed-upedness, I still end up looking like a rube on his first trip outside of the barn. I end up haggard and weathered, aging years in a single day yet still petulant and whiny like a small child, and I smell like death and whatever I have accidentally stepped in or been soaked by. Vomit or poop or foul local liquors. Nothing embodies this guileless, naïve and unprepared wanderlust spirit than my journey through the Irish town of Howth.
I came to describe the feeling as “hiker’s blue balls.” We had come somewhat close to the mountain; we had been tangential to the mountain. We were in the mountain’s neighbourhood. But we barely made it up the subway steps before bailing, the weather making it abundantly clear that we were not to make it to the peak that day. But I was determined. I would hike this mountain, and on my Chuseok vacation, because I wanted to feel like I achieved something. Without the ability to go away, I needed spectacular views on a commuter’s budget, and I wanted to walk vaguely uphill to get them.