Challenge Ropes Courses come to China!
I am excited to be writing from Xiamen, China. Eric Cockren and I are here to build one of the first Challenge Ropes Courses in China and are honored to have been invited to this beautiful and hospitable city. Xiamen lies on the coast of south China across the strait from Tiawan. The course is being built at the Riyuegu Hot Springs Resort by High Five Adventures.
For the last two days we have been working long hours in the rain trying to get a head start on the project before a projected Typhoon hits this area. The typhoon was expected to make landfall in Hong Kong quite some distance to the south. The city made extensive preparation and evacuated many thousands of people. An unuasual storm track, however, has sent Typhoon Chanchu to the north instead and directly up the Strait of Taiwan toward Xiamen. Yesterday, the city and resort community began adding guy lines to trees and stabilizing other infrastructure. In 1999 the last typhoon to hit this area up rooted all the trees on the island. Today, every tree you see on this loose sand island is younger than 7 years old.
We are unable to work today because of the extensive rain at the leading edge of the storm. While the winds are strong they have been reduced as the storm has dragged along the coast. Earlier, they were reported to be 180km/hr. While the winds pose some danger, locals are more concerned about the amount of rain and the mud and rock slides they cause on the surrounding hillsides. The resort staff are confident that none of these hazards are unmanageable.
Our hope is to get back to work in a day or two so that we will complete the project on time and have some days left to travel. In the mean time we have great support from the resort staff and from the Taiwan based teambuilding business, Gungho, who contracted us to do the work. One of our great pleasures is to help train local staff how to manage the course and provide the necessary maintenance. I will be adding further information and photos about our adventure as time permits. I hope readers will stay tuned and share in this unique opportunity.