Planned early in September for this camping trip to Ninghai, we were all excited as a result of the failed attempt 6 months ago, where we ended in hiking in the non-stop rain. It was still a great proper sportive one though!
This planning was a bit more difficult as during the national holidays with the national traffic nightmare. We’ve decided to go to visit the Zhedong Valley 浙东大峡谷, but on its back to avoid people flow. As expected, we passed through millions of compariots’ cars and several crashes during the 5 hours drive (normally only 4) and arrived at the village of Kexian 柯仙村, deeper through a side path of the entrance of the valley, late in the afternoon.
Day 1 – Shanghai – Zhedong Valley road trip
We firstly hiked up to a small hill, where there were only farm fields but no mountains.
So we decided to head back after 10min barely, at this sharp moment, PUTONG, Cris fell off in the ditch of the farm! He’s a big guy with a huge well prepared backpack, wholly stuck among two sides of earth. The next second, his body dropped even further, and then we realized it was not a joke anymore, Jonas held one of his hands, Phil and Tyler jumped over to the side closer to reach and pull him out. Cris was out of gloria, a big long wound left on his wrist.
I couldn’t help sniggering seeing that. 5 minutes later, when we were down off the fields, again, he realized that his wallet and mobile were gone, a gift almost left to the farmers. Tyler and Phil immediately took off their backpacks and rocketed to fetch them. His mobile was found deep in the muddy water and didn’t function much anymore…We couldn’t help laughing at him later during the trip.
Back to the village, we saw some stairs leading to the mountain, we passed through the village and then another, hiked up when it got darker to find a site to settle down for the camp. We found a road for cars but under construction, easier to walk than taking shortcuts to climb up in the muds. Phil and Tyler led the way and they found a small ground of sandy earth with few rocks, perfect as a campsite. We unpacked the tents and sleepbags.
It was my very first time to build up the tent, Jonas taught me the clearance of rocks of the ground, showed me the inner and outside layers of the tents, how to hook up the canvas to the frames, how to push the screws to underground to fix the tent, and the function of the ropes outside to resist storms and wind. Voila our home during the camping trip!
When we were still setting up the tent and rolling out the sleepbags, which are fun to splice together and make a big bed, Tyler already finished his gigantic 3 persons dark blue villa with a “balcony”. He looked for some rocks and branches to make the fire, when it was already all dark.
Tyler claimed it as one of his best fires! He prohibited me from throwing any random stuff into it, like orange skin, while I was dreaming of grilling some sweet potatoes, corns or chestnuts. We gathered around the fire, stuffed the bellies, chit-chatting. All of a sudden, the sky lit up and a canvas of stars are spotted, spreading out in our sight above us. Then a shooting star slided as a gift from nature. While we were talking about the stars, they abandoned us again and left us as in the lonely planet.
Day 2 – Hiking in mountains
The night was long, accompanied with rain drops jumping trampoline on our tent. It stopped and came a big wind. Jonas went out to fix the ropes underground of the outside part of the canvas while I was sleeping. Early in the morning, we planned to see the sunrise, but it was cold and windy and we just slept in, only Tyler were up to look around in the mountains.
We hiked on and had some jokes for some hours, slowly walked back to the village and drove to the entrance of the valley attraction and wanted to go in. But the guys wanted to have some decent dishes to fill in their belly. By the time we finished the two huge bowls of rice, 8 dishes and 2 bottles of Spirite and paid the table, the entrance was closed…we had to choose plan B and continued to drive back to a town closer to Ninghai city, to the first national hiking trail, 45min of drive away from Zhedong Valley.
The trail was very well maintained and there were few people. There were some graveyards on the side though, we looked a long time for a campsite but couldn’t find a good one. We decided to camp on the way on the ground as there were literarily no one passing by.
In the middle of the bush, some fireflies vaguely lit up our surroundings. It was romantic but also frightening, romantic as decoration in nature, frightening as wild animals’ eyes staring at us. After setting up the tents, we decided to discover a bit more and passed by the graveyards again twice, Jonas and Cris couldn’t help scare me and Popo, those bastards…
Day 3 – Head back to Shanghai
We already headed back the next morning. It was a bit too early for me as we didn’t really hiking much, but it was definitely a much more fun one because of the camp and the fire! Looking forward to another trip back to the trail, as it’s supposed to be more than 100 km connecting different villages, perfect for a weekend hiking and we only discovered the beginning.