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Fujian's Wuyi Shan - My Second Days Adventures

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya

After an awesome sleep we all met up around eight. After checking out we left our packs at the front desk and then headed out in search of something to each. We found a noodle bar and after forgetting to tell them 'no or just a little chilli' we each received a noodle soup that looked like it had been offered from the very depths of hell. Admittedly it was a very tasty dish but the taste only lasts a short time before your mouth and lips turn completely numb!

Georgia didn't make it though hers and got some bread rolls instead. I made it through mine but didn't join Martin as he dug into Georgia's leftovers.

The days beginning had been planned yesterday so with numb lips we headed in search of fruit for the day. As we were walking a girl approached us and informed us that she was a student who on weekends and holidays offers her knowledge and time to tourists. So for, I think twenty Yuan (could have been thirty) she would spend the day with you and take you to all the interesting spots.

This allows her to practice her English along with helping her pay for her uni fees. We decided that we really didn't need a tour guide and I grabbed her number for my next visit. We then grabbed a cab to the day's first stop.

Happily we had beaten all the tour buses and the area was still in silence. Only a few tourists were spotted here and there as we made our way down the road. Even though it was on the Big Boy Ticket we never actually found a ticket booth. Maybe it opened later as all the tour groups began to arrive. After finding the beginning of the track we began our short walk to what we thought was a cave. In the end we found that as it sounds, it is the falling water that creates the actual 'cave'. I thought it would be a huge waterfall, especially after all the rain we have been having but it was actually a small amount of water that as it fell created a thin see through blanket of misty spray.

Half way up the cliff you will find 'The Hall of the Three Sages'.

Built in 1147 during the Song Dynasty, it was originally a Memorial Hall for Master Pingshan paying homage to Liu Zihui who was the Master of Qi State. Later it was used also to pay homage to Zhu Xi and Liu Fu (who they are I have no idea!) and this is how it gets its name 'The Hall of the Three Sages!

We had decided to spend the day walking back through the park towards the Nine Twist Stream where we were yesterday. So we were really in for a huge day walking. What we weren't ready for was the extreme beauty this park had to offer us. Yesterdays walk was awesome but what was to follow this day was much more beautiful than we expected!

If you continue past the 'Hall of the Three Sages' you will find a set of stairs that takes you down the other side of the mountain. You don't have to take these but it beats going back the way you came. Both options bring you back to the small road you left not long before. If you wish to spend your day walking and I urge you to, walk back to the beginning of the 'Water Curtain Cave' track and across the road you will find a track taking your downwards. We didn't even notice its existence and it was only after we explained on the map that we wanted to walk through the park that someone pointed it out to us.

This track begins your day of extreme beauty!

You begin the journey at a small stone bridge and you are then taken along side a small stream known as 'Zhangtang Brooklet' that runs beneath huge cliff faces on both sides. The vegetation is so lush and green and the water is crystal clear. Easily the cleanest water I have seen in China. Our first stop was the Huiyuan Temple. This temple was first built during the Song Dynasty and then rebuilt in the late Ming, early Qing Dynasty's. The following was taken from the board outside:

It belongs to local-style house and typical religion architecture of 'Three Religions into One' with Confusian -style entrance hall, and its main temple shows Confusian atmosphere and the Classics Pavilion with Taoist taste. Chucius stayed here for one night and wrote these words 'Be quiet my god' on the horizontal inscribed board which is well preserved now. On the pillars there are two lines of Chucius poem, 'Guests don't hate to take tea for wine while regard bamboo as a neighbourhood'

Get the picture? No. I don't blame you, just look at the photos then! No matter how confusing the board is it really was a small yet peaceful and beautiful temple.

From the temple we continued through the valley following what was now called the 'Huiyuan Temple Fragrance Brooklet'. We were soon also passing beneath the majestic Eagles Beak Peak. As Eagles Beak Peak was lost to our past the huge Jade Pillar Peak stood before us. Here the brooklet changes its name and is simply called 'Fragrance Floating Stream'.

Why is it called this? This was taken from a board on the tracks side;

Formed by controlling the structure of north-eastward broken. Straight walls are on both sides with green vine dropping and cymbidium growing well. The name was given by its clear water deep in the stream and good smelling thought the mountains.

Get the picture? No. I don't blame you, but it did smell great throughout the walk!

Not long after we passed 'Flying Peak', (yes everything here has a name!) we came across a stone with 'Bamboo Nest' engraved into it with an arrow. I decided that I should go check it out and found neither bamboo nor a nest. What I did find as I reached the end of the little valley and looked back the way I had come was a beautiful tea plantation set beneath huge cliffs.

This walk really was so beautiful and it's so hard to put it into words.

After sitting with our feet in the clear and freezing water we continued on towards what is known as 'Big Red Robe' or 'Dahongpao (da = big, hong = red and pao = I have no freaking idea, I guess robe). What it actually is, is a beautiful Tea House. But to get there we had a HUGE climb that took us up the side of a mountain and then back down the other side. Once we found the tea house we sat for some Green Tea Eggs and a cool cup of two Yuan green tea. It was bloody good too for two Yuan. The tea house is set beneath huge cliffs and amongst a small tiered tea plantation. It was peaceful and out the back it had China's cleanest and sweetest smelling public toilets.

Usually in a National Park or anywhere that is set in a natural area you would rather use the bush than the toilets. Not so here mate, I would have happily paid to have used them!

Once we left the tea house and continued our walk we came to a set of 'cross paths' and decided that the path taking us to the 'Sweet Lasting Pavilion' was the one for us. It wasn't on our map but neither was 90% of what we had found. It really was the worst map I had ever used. Even German Uli's 'Mud Map' beat this one. If you want to know about that you'll have to read about my adventure to the Xishuangbanna Region last winter.

Soon we could hear mega-phones and a large amount of yellow and orange peak hated tourists began walking past us. We were now walking the 'Culture Tourist Route of Wuyi Tea' and there is a reason why so many tourists are brought here, because it is bloody beautiful! The entrance fee for this (if you took a taxi to the gateway that is) is covered by your Big Boy Ticket. The cliffs and the more than perfect tea plantation that ran beside the track, it was just so.....perfect.

For those like us whom wish to continue walking well into the afternoon you will actually need to exit the park through the Dahongpao Tea Trees Ticket Office. At first we took the little track on the right just before the exit. It took us up a heap of stairs but then we went back down to a little pagoda just off the 'more than perfect' tourist walk. Ok, once out into the car park walk to the end of the car park and in the rear right hand corner you will find a track leading up the hill. The stone sign has been knocked over but even if it was still standing, unless you know the sign for 'horse' then it wouldn't matter. For some reason Martin, who has a photographic memory knew the character for horse and add that to the fact that we were trying to find the track that led us to Horse Head Rock, then that means we had found our track!

For those who hate climbing like well over thirty minutes of hill stairs, then you'll really hate the beginning of this part of your day. BUT...what I found at the top would be enough to make me climb the same stairs three times over. Once at the top I sat to wait for The Aussies and when I looked across the valley I nearly fell over. Sitting beneath a huge cliff face was an old temple. How unexpected was this find. About ten minutes later when Martin and Georgia arrived at the top they kind of stopped and went quiet for a awhile. It really was am impressive sight, in fact the entire valley was an impressive sight.

We decided against visiting the temple as we were racing a bus schedule to return to Shaowu. A real bugger for us!

Not much further up the track we found a little shrine/temple thingy and here we took the track taking us to the left. The one to the right stopped at the bottom of the hill and wound its way back to the big temple. The left hand trail led us down stairs and into another valley filled with tea trees. Walking in this area really shows you that anywhere in China every little piece of usable space is used.

Like Australia, much of China is not usable and with so many people to feed etc every last inch of farmable space is used. I couldn't believe some of the areas they had a tea plantation growing!

This part of the walk was obviously barely ever walked by anyone other than the happy smiling farmers you walk past whom offer a big smile as they clip and tend to the plantations. It is a lot wilder than both yesterdays and the morning's walks. Here you were away from the tourist crowds and well kept and signed paths. It was an awesome walk and one that reminded me so much of the walks my friends and I used to spend days walking anywhere from the Tweed Coast Area all the way to the Sunshine Coast Area in Queensland.

Especially the back of the Gold Coast where I spent most of my time as I lived there.

Our afternoons walk was, though a lot more spacious than the rest of the weekend was but it was still full of climbs both up and down. The terrain though seemed to have changed heaps. In most places, you could see ahead of you for a long distance without having huge cliffs surrounding you. It really was an awesome part of the park that obviously most people never get to see. The walk took us past Horse Head Rock and then down past the Three Nun Rocks and as we rounded the last cliff we were greeted by the totally unexpected view of Wuyi Shan city.

We slowly made our way along and down the last leg of our journey and surprisingly found ourselves in the park just across the road from the main bridge across the Chongyang River which is actually called the Chongyang Stream but we all know a stream is much smaller than a river and this was no stream. So I guess I had found my way into the park for my next adventure here without the need to purchase Big Boy Ticket. I also wouldn't need to retread my footsteps and follow those from this day as somewhere near the beginning (or this days end) of the track is another track that leads across to Re-Born rock

Will I return to Wuyi Shan in the near future? Crikey Mate you're a flaming Galah! Course I'm gonna!

What will I do on my next journey? I'll head across to the Wuyi Mountain Virgin Forest Park and then after a few hours I'll take a bamboo raft for over two hours down the Nine Twist Stream/River and then head to the site of the Han Dynasty Royal Capital City of Minyue Kingdom. That will be one day. The following I can visit the Wuyi Botanical Gardens and head back to the park and walk the many walks that I still wouldn't have touched.

I'd say it would take many weekends before I would not feel the need to return to Wuyi Shan.

Beers N Noodles toya...shane

_________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by a huge huge HUGE favourite band of mine. The band is Wold Party and the album was the last album I found of theirs called 'Dumbing Up'.

Though I love the album, to me nothing can compare to 'Egyptology' For all you Robby Williams fans, this is where his hit 'She's The One' comes from. Penned, recorded and released by Karl Wallinger's World Party. Then released as a single by Robbie Williams and no one really knew it wasn't his song.

I heard Robbie's version for the first time when I was in South Korea. I had been listening to Egyptology for most of the day. I found a KFC and entered and was standing in line when on comes 'She's The One' As it sounds identical to World Party's version I was singing along and the girl at the counter who could speak English asked me if I was a big Robbie Williams fan. Who's Robbie Williams? I answered. He sings this song she said. No, World Party sings it. I replied. As it wasn't busy I put my version on for her and she then re-played Robbie's version. Identical! It was also an unintentionally great pick up line as we went out for dinner and spent the next few days together. Thanks Robbie! Sad really when a person can have a hit with someone else's song yet when you play them back to back they sound identical. A real bugger for Wold Party, a huge hit for Robbie Williams and a great score for me!

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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