We hopped on a train with a Chinese friend, Autumn, and took a little cultural weekend trip a few weekends ago. His aunt hosted us in a very nice little country condo place. No English there, but our charades serviced us quite nicely.
I am a sucker for a mop-headed dog. I am particularly fond of this fellow's nose. He's a classic. We were warned in our training about touching the dogs--they are supposedly flea-ridden. I haven't been too worried about the fleas with most dogs I've met, but they all seem to want to de-hand me. I take pictures and admire them from afar.
Our first day's expedition took us to a 2,000 year old dam that is still holding. It's a UNESCO site--very famous--Dujiangyan. If it ever breaks. good-bye Chengdu.
This was the first executive helicopter inspection stop following the 2008 earthquake.
We spotted this pretty floral wreath on a little joy hike--an obvious remnant of a medieval jousting event...sooooooo many renaissance fairs here. yeah, right. I like to picture a young Chinese manboy placing this romantically on his damsel's fair head. Or maybe a crazy wind just tangled it together and whipped it up into the tree. I wouldn't be surprised if that monkey-written novel is around close too!!
Bugs on a stick for a ridiculously low price. I think those on the left are pupas of some sort. Notice those ever-present sinister Sichuan spices...
I ate two. Crunchy. The downside was that the little wings and legs stuck like popcorn kernels in my teeth that I had to keep fishing out.
Paco was skeptical about PDA after my bug eating. Chicken...
Day 2. Ahhhhhhh....QingChengShan. Shan is mountain--very sacred mountain--birthplace of Taoism.
Our host and hostesses (sisters!)
Let's Go!!!!!! Enlightenment awaits!! We clocked about 9 miles today I swear.
The woosey Chinese take buses or cars up to the base, and then they hop aboard a sleek German ski tram.
But the REAL Chinese (and apparently us) climbed
step over step over step over step...
we reached the top! Magnificent 3 hour hike!!!!!! S, T & Th--put away that resthome application!!!
We could have paid to go up this way. Not even!!!!!
But we did take the tram down part of the way.
And then Autumn took us to "Dr. Stone" for a foot massage! Rock therapy. Not for the pain skittish...but we lived to see another day.