Monday, August 28, 2006
Mt. Fuji, Episode Three
The weather forecast was perfect all week for Wed. and Thurs., the days Chieko and I were to climb Mt. Fuji. I checked everyday, religiously, hoping that the weatherman wouldn't change his mind as often happens. Chieko had sent me an internet link to a live webcam on top of Mt. Fuji, but everytime we checked it was either white with clouds or black with night. Wed. rolled along and it started to rain, but we were not deterred. Arriving to the 5th stage at 6pm or 7pm, we sat in the cafeteria to acclimatize to the height before our big climb and to have a bowl of udon noodles for energy. At 8pm we were ready, and the rain had subsided. Yosha--, iku yo-----
There were fewer people than my previous climb, and everyone gave a friendly "Konbanwa" (good evening) or "Ganbatte kudasai" (hand in there) mountain greeting. The stars started peeking through the clouds, and since Chieko always makes me laugh, we huffed and giggled our way up the slope. I was feeling fine (brag brag) and Chieko was doing a good pace except she said her heart was racing and she felt like a dog panting up the mountain. At the 9th stage we were both getting dizzy and decided to sleep in the little hut. Lucky we stopped where we did because the 9.5 hut from last year I later discovered was a pile of rocks!
Two hours later (3:00 am) the lights came on and everyone was restling about, so we gave in and joined them. I don't think I've ever woken up at 3am in my entire life. I crawled out of the dusty futon, put on my warmer clothes, and we took back off to our self-inflicted agony. One hour later we were at the peak, just in time for the SUNRISE, I finally got to see the famous sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji, YIPPEEEEEEEEE.
Side Note) The exclamation mark on the computer I'm on at the moment is not working, otherwise I assure you would see many, many of them in this blog entry.
We decided to take the sandy Gotemba route and try a lesser known path that connects the two trails, more walking, but fewer rocks for tired legs. The sun was out by now and it was rare that we ran into anyone on this path, so everyone we did meet was very friendly.
5 1/2 hours up and 5 hours down, and it was a blast. Besides lack of sleep, I was in pretty good shape the next couple days, and Chieko didn't even get sore muscles, that toughy. Now even Chieko wants to do it again, weeeeeeeeeee what a success.
I have pics, check out the link to the side.
I just got into Sydney, Australia today, I'll report more on that later.