Emei Shan, China, Day 10 & 11
19.5 hours after boarding we were more than ready to disembark £23 hard sleepers on the poo express. Tensions had been fraying for a few days amongst some of the group and almost a day confined in a tiny space with 60 or so strangers wasn’t helping them. Having had her foot trod on more than half a dozen times by one of our ‘friendly’ travel mates, Ma was as eager as anyone for some fresh air and space. After stepping into glorious cool we were collected by a rag tag assortment of vehicles and driven to the Baoguo Temple where we were to spend the next three nights.
Baoguo Temple is at the bottom of Lingshan Mountain, a mountain littered with temples and monkeys, originally built in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). The present Temple reflects the successive dynasties who have rebuilt and expanded the site, the great hall is notable due to its having been built entirely without nails, all of the joints neatly dovetailed together.
As in many temples throughout China you can pay a pittance and spend the night, which we were due to do, however having seen the public shower block and hole in the floor loo and damp communal dormitory bedrooms Ma and I opted for the comparably luxurious, new and wonderfully clean and warm Miia LongXinFang Guesthouse a 10 minute walk down the road. I know I know when can we stay in a temple? Well quite often it seems and I’d be happy to stay in an original old monastery building with stone cells but this was just accommodation in temple grounds so we thought better of it. Having signed G Adventures releases enabling us to break away from the tour for the nights we joined the group for another feast of a dinner at Patrick, our local guides, restaurant before heading back to our beds for the night where we revelled in warmth and comfort.
JHubz wanted to experience the temple and stayed in a room with three of the others for one night before joining us at breakfast at the guesthouse, which consisted of a beautiful tray of assorted things we had no idea what they were ☺️ well some of them anyway, little bowls of pickled cucumber and green beans, apple pieces and a soft brown muffin like cake, a cup of Chinese porridge, four hard steamed buns and a fried egg and two pieces of ham, accompanied by a pot of some warm miscellaneous tasty milky drink, made for a lovely start to the day.
With the mountains shrouded in cloud we left the others to trek today having been plagued with sinus and chest issues since the pollution in Beijing. I woke yesterday with golf ball size lymph nodes in my neck and no voice, a joy for the others but a little frustrating for me, after a mid-morning nap while still on the train I woke with my voice but difficulty swallowing, bleurgh! They were a bit better during the day yesterday but flared up again in the night so a visit to the amazingly helpful Emei Shan pharmacy has left us stocked up with a host of local medicine designed to knock any nasties from our system in the next few days, the herbal tea part of my treatment certainly tastes like it is doing me good. Other than visiting the local pharmacy we’ve been exploring the locale, a huge bell and some statues and waterfalls and relaxing at the Miia Longxinfang where we’ve made good use of the free washing machine and living rooms in the suites we had been upgraded to, all for £20 per room per night including breakfast ?
Tomorrow we are visiting a local village market before stopping at a tea plantation, which if they’re anything like the ones we visited in Malaysia will be an absolutely stunning experience! xx