The International Steam Pages
Shibanxi Holiday 2009 - Jiaoba Jaunt
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It had been one of those 'nearly days' in Bagou. It started cloudy and then brightened up from midday, in fact, just after the third train (seen below), the clouds vanished:
Being effectively the longest day of the year, the sun was still just on the track as the last train arrived at Huangcun. You won't see the fabulous result on these pages as I was totally preoccupied with the video. We went to bed early with our fingers crossed for a sunny day but, not for the first time, we were disappointed. After doing the morning business, there was nothing to do but check out yet another walk. The new truck road above Bagou station now offers easy and enticing access to the ridge above town. On the way we passed former pigs and soon to be former pigs:
Frankly it's no great shakes photographically especially in the gloom:
On the ridge, the truck road (used exclusively to mine trees and bamboo instead of coal) splits right and left and just to the right is a traditional small path heading down the other side. Once again we were back into an an area of outstanding natural beauty, one just had to be careful not to stand on the snakes:
This traditional house had an unusual guardian, but in fact if you reach it, you should actually have taken the path right and down which avoids it. When you reach the gorge (see below), go round it to the right, donít go down into it.
As we made our way down, we could see the beautiful valley below Jiaoba:
In almost no time (and not much more than an hour overall) we had reached our destination. The railway actually runs just behind the buildings. The return path to Bagou is not easy to find as there are other much more frequently used paths from the village:
Vegetarians should look away now as we can reveal the ultimate fate of local ducks:
It doesn't matter greatly to the ducks, no doubt, but those on the right have been basted with sweet soy source which gives the caramel finish. Something else was cooking too, I'll leave you to work out what part of the former pig was involved, but as a clue even Yuehong passed on it ...
We relied on more traditional fare:
Peter was seduced by a passing midday brightness and foolishly retired up the hill to await the afternoon passenger train. Yuehong and I smiled to ourselves and walked down the track to Bagou, Yuehong to read the middle class blogs which show that China is maybe entering 21st century civilisation and your truly to add to my own kind of blog and the 'bottle bank' on our terrace: