day two: The night on the mountain was rainy and stormy so I was nervous hiking down would be dangerous. When we woke up (at 5 am) the weather was starting to clear up so we started exploring.
On our second day we wanted to see the Jade Scenic area. One of the scariest feelings standing over a cliff like that, but so worth it. If the water was a little cleaner I might have swam...
If we've learned anything in China it's to take the "back roads". We walked along a path that not many other people were on and came to this... It was the steepest hill with stairs straight down. You had to take off your shoes because there was essentially a waterfall following down the stairs.
We hiked for a long time after those stairs and realized it was only 8 am so we kept going. We wanted to see Lotus Peak but when we finally got there it was gated off. So we crawled under the gates, threw our bags over the fence, and snuck up the mountain!
^^The last few steps to the peak^^
When we got to the top we were shocked. A perfect 360 degree view of what felt like the world! Lotus Peak is the highest peak of all of the surrounding Huangshan mountains and 6,500 feet above sea level. It was crazy seeing how much ground we had covered just in 24 hours and even crazier that we were the only people on the mountain.
The hike down was pretty scary. We took a different route than coming up and I was nervous we wouldn't be able to crawl "under the fence" again and not even sure it would take us to the right place. We would stop every now and then, look at our view, then realize just how lucky we were. It started getting foggy and I was nervous how isolated we were, but everything worked out.
We took a cable car down the mountain from Jade peak and made our way to hot springs to relax before our train left in the evening. More from the hot springs in the next post :)