Badachu Park

Nicholas Quirke was really starting to question what the Chinese called a park on 4 July 2020 and was trying to think how broad the description of a park could be in the UK. After cycling to collect the car in the west of Beijing from an utterly desolate and tawdry location, they headed to another scenic locale in the West Mountains Badachu Park in the range of 3 peaks, Taihang, Pingpo and Lushi mountains and notable for the 8 temples that cover the slopes. It was only 17 Km from Beijing’s city centre and it was clearly an accessible spot for Beijingers to get to which was apparent as they had to queue for 30 minutes to get into the car park. Of course their visit meant climbing again and her was not sure he had it in him. During Peng’s holiday they had done so much to compensate for the cancellation of travel plans that he was feeling a little weary and the humid weather didn’t help with his desire to reach the top and the top temple. There was a cable car to the summit but the decided against it and they made their way up the slopes and through the 6 temples where he was surprised to see people were actually now worshipping at. Face masks had mostly been dropped but it was polite to wear three in the shrines. progressed was slow but by the time they reached the the 6th temple he was actually feeling more positive about the final climb. He did find the commercialism of the sites a little crass and distasteful and could not decide if this was due to the bright and gaudy colours of the goods that were on sale Or if it was because it was in the temple space themselves. He was amused to to find a family picnicking on concrete outside the toilet. Maybe there was a bowel issue here. The effort as always was worth it, from the beautiful buildings, the luscious views to the 18 varieties of ancient trees, some over 500 years old. It was all captivating and took him to a completely different world to the one he was used to inhabiting. Despite the crowds there was a sense of peace, though of course, that could be attributed to balmy temperatures that were clearly affecting everyone. They rejected the swifter methods of descending, the cable car and the bob sleigh and had a leisurely stroll down the mountain but by the time they reached base, his stomach was grumbling considerably and thankfully the restaurant, though it was more like a canteen, was vegan. They finished eating and headed home. Though he had been packing over the past couple of days there was still a fair bit to do to make sure he was ready for his departure from Beijing the next day. They rounded off the night with another animation from Pixar which was utterly charming, though he had no idea what it was called. He knew sleep would come quickly the moment his head touched the pillow and he was relieved that his assumption was correct.

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