I believe in the communion between humans and nature

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Apr 24, 2011 16:03 travelling human nature Zhangjiajie Avatar
I wrote this essay three years ago and I never thought the Avatar crew would come here to take pictures, which later became the prototypes of Hallelujah mountain and major sences in the movie.
This place is called Zhangjiajie, located in Hunan province, China
Now I’ve moved to another city to do my further studies, but I miss Zhangjiajie very much.

I am a hiking and camping lover. One day last summer, with a bulky pack, I walked into the national forest park alone. A nice-paved road leads off from the narrow entrance gate. I strolled on it. Innumerable tourists from across the nation, all walks of life, gathered.
  我喜欢远足也喜欢露营。去年某夏日,背着一个笨重的包,我独自一人走进了森林公园。一条小路从狭窄的大门延伸出去,路铺得不错,我漫步徜徉。来自全国各地的游客,聚集着,不计其数。

  It didn’t take long before I got to the Jinbian Stream.The 7.5-kilometer-long valley, famous for its crystal water, steep cliffs, was no longer a quiet place. Troops of wild monkeys seemed much commercialized. They were swinging from branch to branch and posed professionally for photographers just for easy food. I melt into the throng on the track, frequently annoyed by those who jostled and shoved to get better positions to take pictures.
  没过多久,我就来到了金鞭溪。这条7.5千米长的峡谷,以它清澈的水,陡峭的崖壁著称,可惜,它已不是一处清静之地,成群的猴子也被商业氛围所熏陶,它们在树林中荡来荡去,毫不羞涩地摆着造型,为的是能够得到游客掷来的食物。我也融入了人群之中,有些游客推搡着,挤来挤去,想占个好位置来拍照留念,可以理解,却甚是烦人。

  I was perfectly aware of where I was going since I had been there for many times. At another end of the valley is a station where you could either take the Bailong elevator up to Yuanjiajie, or take an eco-friendly bus to Tianzi Mountain, on which you are able to take in the passing sceneries. I knew these two famous scenic areas very well. There must be millions of noisy tourists out there. But what the heck! I might as well camp there at night when they leave.
  我很清楚下个景点是什么,我来过很多次了。在峡谷的另一端是“水绕四门”,在那里有一个汽车站,你可以搭乘“百龙天梯”上至袁家界,也可以坐上绿色环保车去天子山,欣赏沿途美景。对于这两个景区我是再清楚不过了,那儿一定是人满为患。不管了!我兴许可以等到晚上,游客们尽兴离去时,方可“安营扎寨”。

  On my way to the station, I by accident found a zigzag path losing itself into the distance of the woods. My curiosity aroused. I decided to explore for a comfortable camping site. As I penetrated deeper into the woodland, the racket gradually faded away. The wet, broken and uneven road deadened the sound of footsteps. I was scared of going astray, so I kept to the road that was not clearly signposted.
  去汽车站的途中,我无意中发现,有条弯弯曲曲的小路延伸至树林中,消失在远处。我很好奇,决定走进去试试,看有没有合适的露营地。走得越深,人群的喧闹声也逐渐消去。走在湿湿的、不平整、略崎岖的路上,没有一点脚步声,我怕迷了路,也因为没有明确的标识,所以一直小心谨慎地沿着这条路走着。

It was a sunny day but dim inside, merely lighted by several dappled shafts of sunrays which struggled through the canopies of the tall trees. It took me two hours to arrive at the halfway to the summit and I was pretty exhausted. It still seemed endless and I was rather frustrated. It was when I was about to give up I ran into two HUMAN BEINGS! The two elderly locals were surprised to see a young stranger would stumble into so deep a place in the mountain. “Would you mind telling me that,” I asked the pair timidly,” how long will I take to the top?” “Not long. About one hour left. So come on!” they replied friendly. Right after exchanging simple greetings, they told me the story about where I was.
外边有着烈日阳光,里边却很昏暗,只有稀少的斑驳光点,光束挣扎着从高树的树冠中透过。一路前行,整整花了我两个小时才爬到半山腰,非常疲惫。但放眼望去,似乎还无边无际,我顿时泄了气。正准备放弃,原路返回时,我居然碰见了两个人!那两个年长的本地人也非常奇怪,他们也没想到一个陌生的年轻人会误闯荒凉的深山里。“请问,到山顶还要多久?”我怯生生地问那两个人。他们很友好的答道:“不要就多久了,就一个小时左右了,加油爬!”在简单的寒暄之后,他们向我叙说起往事来。

The place, named Yaozi Village, was once crowded in the 1980s when Zhangjiajie first became famous because it was both officially recognized as the China’s first forest park and an UNSECO world natural heritage. An influx of tourists ensued, and caused bad ecological damage, so it was closed in 1990. After a decade of restoration and rehabilitation, it was reopened in 2000, but was not as popular as it had been. It is hard to climb, without cable cars transporting people up, and if tourists don’t use cable cars, the tour guides can’t get any commissions, by which they earn a living. Consequently, tour guides wouldn’t lead their groups to visit there. It became deserted and was bypassed. Only a few foreigners would come here occasionally. And they added, compared to Huangshi Village, generally known as the most famous scenic area in the forest park, many places are actually better. I knew what they were getting at. The catchy slogan “if you’ve never been in Huangshi Village, you’ve never been in Zhangjiajie.” It’s nothing but a marketing gimmick by the cable way company, in order to attract more people in, increasing its revenue. “The top is not far”, they encouraged me again at the end of the conversation, “come on!”
这个地方原来叫做“鹞子寨”,在上个世纪80时代初期很出名,是一处喧闹之地。张家界之前一直“养在深闺人未识”,直到被评为中国第一个国家森林公园和“世界自然遗产” 时,才名声鹊起。游客们纷纷慕名而来,大量涌入,当地的生态环境也随之遭到了破坏。于是,在1990年的时候,腰子寨就关闭了。经过10年的重建和复原,2000年,重新对游人开放。不过,它的风光已不再,此山难攀援,也没有索道,如果游客们不坐索道,导游也拿不到回扣,自然就不会带他们去那了。从此,鹞子寨就变成一处人迹罕至之地,只会有少数外国游客偶尔到访。他们又说,比起黄石寨,这个森林公园里最著名的景区,其它很多地方更好看。我知道他们的意思,索道公司想吸引游客,增加收入,“不到黄石寨,枉到张家界”,不过只是他们的商业宣传罢了。“离山顶不远了,加油!”他们最后为我打气道。

  After one hour’s strenuous effort, I finally made it to the top. Seen from the spacious flat upland, thousands of pillar-like hills, split by bottomless abysses, sprang up into the sight and soared up dramatically. What a breathtaking wonderland! Every single individual can be silenced by its sheer scale. It did live up to its reputation, one of world’s greatest natural wonders. I should not describe it anymore, because I was not able to choose words that could convey the beauty of this unearthly place. I put up my tent and decided to sleep in there. Next to my tent towers a long line of precipitous cliff. It made you thrill but thanks to a guard handrail, it was safe.   经过一个小时的努力,我终于爬上了山顶。从山顶宽敞的平地上望去,千百座山峰拔地而起,直冲云霄,之间则是深不可测的悬崖。这是怎样一处仙境啊,看到她,每个人都会沉下心来冥思,来感受“沧海一粟”一词的具体含义。我想,应该还没有适当的词汇可以形容这处脱离尘世的地方,还是停止描述为妙。我搭起了帐篷,决定晚上住在那儿,在我帐篷的旁边,则是陡峭的悬崖,虽然让人毛骨悚然,但还是挺安全的,因为有栏杆保护着。

  A few hours later, the crescent came out. I sat in my tent, gazed out at the distant silhouettes as if they were trying to talk to me. There were nearly no sounds but a faint one from a faraway trickle, only punctuated by the occasional hoots of a few baritone owls. I gradually sank into sleep as I wondered that perhaps I was not sort of gatecrasher but personally invited by the Mother Nature in an unperceivable connection.
  几个小时过去了,一轮新月升起,我坐在帐篷里,望着远处的巨大暗影出神,她们也好像要和我讲话。真的很安静,只有从远处细小涓流传来的声音,只不过时不时被几只猫头鹰的叫声打断。我渐入梦乡,我想这也许不能算是私自闯入,而是受到了大自然的邀请,是以一种不易不易察觉的方式。

The next morning, I went down with some garbage that I had collected along the way. I made up my mind to become a tour guide. Since then, whenever I had time, I would sit at the entrance of the forest park for couples of minutes before I started hiking. Usually, some tourists without a guide would come to me asking for help. What usually happened next was that I volunteered to lead them around the highlights, of course including Yaozi Village, to unveil the beauty and mystery of nature.
  第二天早上,我下了山,捡了不少沿途的垃圾。我已下定决心成为一位导游,不会一心想着赚钱,而是带领游客去欣赏自然的真正美妙之处。从那以后,只要我有时间,在正式旅行之前,我都会在森林公园门口坐上几十分钟,当那些没有导游的游客看到我之后,往往会走过来,寻求帮忙。我也会很乐意地帮助他们,带领他们欣赏森林公园里最漂亮的地方,当然包括鹞子寨,在这个过程中,我们可以领略大自然的神奇和其无限魅力。

  I love travelling. Sometimes, I feel like I am an elf in the woods.
  我喜欢旅游。真的,很多时候,我都觉得我是大自然树林中的小精灵。
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