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chimpanzee00
Decided to go back to Emei Shan to finish sightseeing.  Checked out at 12pm, after leaving 4 cases of equipment at Fuhe Homeland Hotel.  Spent frustrating half hour trying to hail taxi, the hotel bellman finally corralled one.  Got to Xianneman bus station, bought ticket to Emei Town.  Arrived at Baoguo Town, where Patrick Yang met me & arranged a hotel for 220 yuan (with room Internet).

It was raining when I arrived, so decided against immediately going up the mountain to start hiking.  Rested at hotel, got some lunch.
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:54 pm
Met with Roland at 11am to finish 4x4 hire, then went out to lunch with his 2 yr old daughter.  Nice pork dish at restaurant.  Roland went in search of solar eclipse stamps, while I researched getting PIN # for my other credit card.  We met again at 5pm to finish the 4x4 hire payment.  I spent the evening at a park, lined with shops.  Nice photos were taken.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 24 entry
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:47 pm

Uploaded images to Web, finished at 3:19am.  At 6:30am we were awaken by hotel staff: LANDSLIDE alert!!  Roland & I scrambled to pack up & leave.  Roland got the car, & left it running in the alley.  The car valet asked us to leave, since cars behind us wanted to leave.  We drove across the street, while Roland finished checking out.  I had to drive the car further down, since we were blocking traffic.  Police sirens blaring, people leaving en-masse for higher ground.  Pretty scary!

We drove towards Kangding, & along the way asked a policeman about conditions: "Luding not possible".  We stopped for breakfast.  Then, decided to go back towards Ya'an.  However, we soon ran into a traffic jam: road washed away due to storm waters!  Had to wait several hours until construction crew finished repairs.  During this time, we had lunch & met a German biker Roland had met the previous week.  At 3pm road repairs were finished, & we left.  Lots of waterfalls along the side of the road, because of rain.  Passed thru Ya'an, then arrived Chengdu at 8pm.  Unloaded cases, & went out to food bazaar across street.  Amazing delicacies: pig tail, shishkabob, etc.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 23 entry
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:30 pm
Woke up early at 6:30 am.  Was somewhat misty, & the sun was halo'ing ("sundog" was seen).  However, as it got higher the clouds were thinner.  Began to setup wide-angle cameras.  Was running out of time, scrambling to finish setup before 1st contact (~8 am).  Lots of moisture in air, the telescopes had moisture on lens!  Not everything worked according to plan, some cameras worked..others didn't

Eclipse was spectacular, with Gongga Shan in foreground.

Broke down equipment, finished at 3pm.  Tibetan herder man visited us on motorbike, then his wife.  Left for Guza at 4pm.

See

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 22 entry.
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:25 pm

Woke up early, & had breakfast with host family.  2 children (boy & girl) were studiously doing their homework.  Had eggs, Tibetan butter tea.  Drove up, following rapid flowing stream.  Began to climb on switchbacks, & Gongga Shan came into view.  What a sight!  Pictures don't do it justice, you have to see it in person.  Now, I know why mountaineers do what they do.  Ran into horse teams taking up backpacks, & finally ended up at Zimei Pass (15,000 ft).  Unloaded cases, & began to setup.  However, the afternoon got cloudy, windy.  Only setup halfway. 

Met a Polish group observing eclipse (including atomic scientist), who passed along conditions from previous days.

At night it began cloudy/misty, & could see lightning!  At 3:30am, woke up to see some clear skies & polar aligned with North Star.  Went back to bed, & woke up at 6:30 am

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 21 entry
 
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:21 pm

Left hotel early, for drive to Liuba.  Went up the Shenduo Pass (12,000 ft), where some eclipse observers would observe the eclipse.  Very windy, met some mountain bikers.  Went down to Xinduqiao, then took the fork south towards Jiulong.  Passed small villages (including Shade, which was another eclipse observation site), & then took the east fork to Liuba.  Arrived there at a guesthouse, with host family.  Flu sickness (sorethroat due to spicy food) & high altitude effects made me goto bed immediately for recovery.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 20 entry
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:16 pm

Waited for Roland Zeidler to show up @11am with 4x4, but there was a glitch.  The car hire owner didn't show up on time (drinking the previous night), & the expected 4x4 not available!  Found a replacement, & Roland showed up at 2pm (after leaving at 12pm).  Loaded up 4 cases of equipment, & consulted with Patrick Yang on a shortcut to Ya'an.  Took road to Leshan, then found a shortcut (after consulting with locals along the way).  The A/C (air conditioning) decided to quit, which made conditions unpleasant: open windows with humidity.  After driving through mountains at night, arrived at Kangding hotel (w/Internet) at 1am.  Tired as heck, just going up the stairs with baggage resulted in slight headache (due to high altitude effects).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 19 entry.
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:11 pm

With Patrick Yang, I returned to Emei Shan summit: bus to Leidonping, hike to Jieyin Hall, cable car to summit.  Visited 2-star hotel (my planned residence for July 20 & 21) to confirm reservation.  Proceeded to Jinyin Si to meet with head monk.  Arranged equipment storage for night of July 20, & equipment setup on July 21.  Skies were a little bit better than previous day, but still misty/cloudy.  Returned to Baoguo Town & hotel.

Decided conditions at Emei Shan summit were not optimistic for eclipse day (July 22).  Contacted Roland Zeidler/Western Sichuan Tours to implement 4x4 option, starting the next day

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 18 entries
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:06 pm

Took bus from Baoguo to Leidonping (highest bus station).  Walked up to Jieyin Hall, & passed the Tibetan Macaques who were very playful.  Took cable car from Jieyin Hall (after long wait) to Jinding Summit.  It was misty/cloudy.  Made the trek up to Woyun Nunnery & Jinding Si, where it began to rain @3pm.  Stayed in monastery until 4pm, & went back down (with raincoat on).  Arrived back at Baoguo & hotel ~8pm.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 17 entries
 
 
chimpanzee00
25 July 2009 @ 09:01 pm

With help from Roland Zeidler/Western Sichuan Tours: equipment (4 cases) was taken to the Xiannamen bus station, tickets bought, cases loaded on bus.  After 2.5 hr bus ride, arrived at Emei Town, where I hired a mini-bus to take me to Emei Shan Grand Hotel (Baoguo Town).

Checked into hotel room, & then set off to explore Baoguo Si & Fuhu Si.  Overcast & muggy.  It rained that night!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chimpanzee/collections/72157620544886690/

See July 16 entries