Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sacred Mountain Moto Tour

Wow, I didn't know it has been 2 months since I sent an update.  Hmm, well I've been busy planning a trip. Carole is away now leading a course at The Haven from Sept 25 till Oct 30. So during this time I decided to stay in China and do a motorcycle tour visiting (and climbing) many of the sacred mountains of China. In fact, on this list:, I plan to visit all of the 5 great and the 4 sacred Buddhist mountains and a couple of others. This is my planned route:
 There was actually a lot of planning and prep but lets just fast forward to the day Sept 25, All packed and ready to go:

and then, actually leaving:

The first mountain (North Heng Shan) was only about 300 KM away so an easy first day of riding. Just across the river from this mountain is a famous 1400 year old hanging monastary

and this shot shows the perspective of where it sits in the middle of the cliffside

Then, the mountain itself:

with its temples:

and, well, yes, this is Shanxi province, China's leading coal mining, refining and pollution creating province. So, the view isn't that clear from on top and conditions called for protection:

Next day I packed up to head for Wutai Shan, one of the 4 great Buddhist mountains. As this was my first day repacking, it took me about 2 hours to get ready to go in the morning. Fortunately this mountain is only 130 km away so I had lots of time. Before I know it I was in the hills of Wutai, this area is all over 2500 meters, so mostly tundra vegetation:

In Wutai town there are 2 things of note: Temples and tourists (Chinese tourists of course - not westerners).

and here is the view from tho top of one of the plateaus ("Wutai" means "five plateaus") at sunset:

And this ends the first chapter of my trip because, I had been having gear shifting problems for the past 2 days and finally, at the top of this mountain I was stuck in high gear, there was no way at all to get into low gear. Fortunately it was downhill all the way back to the village.

On to Part 2 of the Sacred Mountain Moto Tour >