Sunday, 21 September 2014

A walk up Yuelu Mountain

Today I took a walk up nearby Yuelu Mountain, site of a prestigious academy, temples, tombs and scenic spots, and has associations with Mao Zedong.

The ascent involved a gentle slope toward a TV transmitter and radar station at the 300m summit. Hundreds of people were also walking it, and others went up on shuttle buses.

Yuelu peak

It was a relatively clear, sunny day and occasional glimpses of the vast city below could be caught through the trees. Two high school girls were the first of several to ask for a photo with me, then were on their way.

West Changsha

The top didn't take long to reach, and I found shade and a seat to eat my bread and butter. As I was finishing eating another group of young girls came and gestured for a photo, and I said okay.

A slightly older family group descended, with others gathering beyond, and I said 'no, sorry' and walked off. I felt like an odd animal at a zoo and found it silly how they regarded my foreign-ness as a point of curiosity.

East Changsha

Taking a detour down to the wooded, ancient and peaceful scenic area, I slightly regretted being uptight by not indulging them.

In the grounds of a Taoist temple I came across a group of people surrounding a huge turtle which didn't move as it was slow and blocked in. One teen was poking a twig in its face and as I lacked the language to protest, left and continued my walk, resolving to avoid any more interaction with these probing and gawping groups.

Part of Lushan Temple

Further on another group of mixed youths stopped me for a further photo, and withered and cornered, I allowed, and they were satisfied.

The route down took me back to the main road running along the main river where some men fished near some marshes. Beyond them the vast city was in sight, today mostly unobscured by smog.

Xiang River

When I got home I was hungry and made dinner with chicken, tofu, wood ear and vegetables, flavoured with garlic, chilli, ginger, soy sauce, white wine vinegar and bean paste, and served with lentils.

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