Guang Wu Shan, Sichuan, China Week 13 18th July 2011
Guang Wu Mountain is a scenic spot in the North of Sichuan.

Its on the border with Shaanxi.

Sorry, more limestone.

About 400 million years old. Formed under the sea then uplifted.

Surprisingly the bedding planes are mostly horizontal. The limestone is coarser than the stone forest so the columns aren't as rounded.

From the car park there's a bus service to another car park at about 1900m.

As we set off on the track there were various safety notices.

At 08:30 it was still misty in the mountains.

This spider web is three dimensional rather than the more typical two.

As we climbed we caught glimpses of the sun on mountains through the mist.
There are 47 varieties of orchid in the park.

This is the very small one we saw.

The birds were too quick for us (or we were too impatient).

Apart from a lone squirrel, which ran away, we didn't see any of the animals (such as black bear).

Seven fairies!


We've tended to avoid local guides who fill our heads with what others think the shapes represent.

We just think it looks nice.

Though a haircut wouldn't go amiss.

And we wondered what the real translation was.

The valley we've driven and walked up is about 500m below us.

We couldn't see the high point somewhere behind us at about 2500 m.

Mist clearing slowly.
And after about a half hour the road is visible.

But of course now the sun is a bit high and its hazy from pollution.

No pleasing some people.

Having crossed from one valley to the next there's a path down there somewhere.
Very steep and spectacular.

Like most paths on mountains open to us as tourists the path is concrete steps. 

The viewing platform has been built around the tree.

Interesting looking over the railing down a sheer drop of a few hundred feet.

This platform was built on top of one of those limestone columns.

Others have been cantilevered.

The dilapidated building is a loo.

The sign that Ali is looking at says ....
"Take beautiful memory away, and leave pretty spirit".

We guessed Chinese equivalent of "take only pictures leave only footprints".

Perhaps the location had us confused.

Down to the valley floor, and the river.

The track is part of what was once the Micang Road.

There's a series of 3000 year old tracks that run between Chengdu in Sichuan to Shaanxi.

They were originally "plank roads".

A history of trading, porters, and wars.

Spectacular scenery for a road.
The planks are long gone. Just concrete.

There are seemingly connections to the Tea Horse Road through Chengdu.

Methinks there is a network of old roads and tracks throughout China (as with most countries).

We passed a staging post with a history of a few hundred years.
And solved the riddle of how the ornate ceilings are made ornate during renovations.
Though we did stop being silly long enough to look at  some more of the scenery.
Just the other end of this part of the road was the site of an ancient military outpost.

Apparently the plank roads were used by invading armies (some of whom burned the planks behind them to show their determination).

The pass was considered easy to defend.

This stretch of plank road is a half tunnel gouged out of the cliff. Other parts were wood cantilevered out of holes in the cliff with planks across.

About 6 hours after we set out we caught the bus back along a different road. Our knees have been vertically challenged and are a bit shaky.

China Mobile was out for maintenance. Everyone in China has a mobile phone. Susanna simply asked a complete stranger who was passing to phone for the bus.

This is our car park campsite for two nights. The tourist buses are the green things.

While we've been here we've had several visitors. Last night someone arrived with some boiled water. The bus drivers have befriended us. The car park attendant wanted us to move into the shade next to his kiosk.

A contrast to the policeman who wanted to see our passports and went through the pantomime of being officious while we waited patiently and deadpan for him to get bored. What silly games we all play.

Xi'an, Shaanxi, China Week 13 19th - 20th July 2011

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