We walk Bai causeway at the north side of West Lake, marveling at the lotus flowers under a low, grey sky. The rain of the night has left big drops on the leaves. After stocking up on food and drinks, we turn around the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, and at once, leave the crowds of West Lake behind us. We walk past houses where laundry hangs to dry (how long will that take in this humidity?), some old Chinese ladies greeting us on our way. When we leave the houses behind us, the forest of Baoshi mountain starts, and we leave the last signs of the city behind. When we come to a crossroads, we take a left, walk up a slippery path to reach the top of the mountain. There are too many trees around us for views here. We slip-slide our way on treacherous green stones down to the main path, and continue uphill.
We walk through a big arched gate, over stairs, until we reach a tea house. Behind it, we find the entrance to a cave. It is only when we descend into it, that we discover how big the cave really is. There are several entrance stairs into the cave complex, and when we reach the end of it, and walk up the stairs, we come to a small site with three golden Buddha statues partly hidden behind a golden cloth. To the left, a small water reservoir looks like holding holy water. Back to the tea house, we see several young cats, one with a light blue and a brown eye. On or way towards the higher parts of Baoshi, we come across an official sign praising the importance of hiking and the good effects on our health - which, of course, is good to know. We walk uphill through the forest, and go down the stairs to reach Baopu Taoist Temple.
The history of this site goes back to the 4th century; it has been destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly. Today, we see an imposing wall with a dragon tail on top, and when we step inside and pay our modest entrance fee, a panel with colourful dragons to our right. Inside, we hear the chanting of a woman, and we walk up, though the richly decorated entrance, to see her sitting in a corner. The scene is so peaceful, we just stay, watch and listen. From here, we walk through the rest of the complex. On the other side, we see people playing cards at a table. After walking up the hill again, we continue towards the east, reach the highest and most exciting point where we have to walk through openings in boulders. Some of them can be climbed, and give great views over the West Lake to the south. Just ahead of us, we see Baochu Pagoda, and when we continue over the boulders, with more viewpoints, we arrive at its base. On our way down, we pass a row of vandalized Buddha statues in the rocks, walk through the courtyard of houses, until we reach the West Lake again, back where we started in the morning.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Baoshi mountain (China). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Baoshi mountain.
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