Flight of the Peacocks.

Nicholas Quirke was feeling exhausted on 7 May 2021 by the tour of Yunnan province he had been on over the past two weeks. They had moved at a furious pace through Dali, Shangri La and Xishuangbanna. Experienced extremes in temperature from cold Mountain Tops to the balmy heat of tropical rainforests and they had reached the end of the line. In the afternoon it was back to Beijing but despite the fatigue there was still one more attraction luring them in, The Dai Buddha Temple and the flight of the peacocks down the mountain. The temple complex was a taxi ride away on another of sun. They made an early start and climbed half way to the Giant Buddha but Peng realised that they should see the peacocks at 10 rather than 1pm and this meant trekking back down to the Peacock Garden and do the climb again later. Despite animals being forced to perform again it was a really beautiful and quite spectacular sight with literally hundreds of birds that had been herded up the mountain, flying back down and his conscience was eased a little by the thought that flight is their natural ability, unlike the elephants ho are most definitely not footballers. After the peacocks display and feeling a little weary he went back to climbing the mountain. Stopping along the way to see temples, take a gimmicky picture of him holding Buddhas hand and to get his breath back. At the top of mountain there was a glass platform from which the Buddha, the city and the ground below could be viewed. The view was amazing. The effort and energy he had expended was worth it and he felt both sad and a little relieved that this was the the final stop on this journey. He was aware that he still had a month in China on this particular extension, but if he had to leave when the 8th of June dawned then this had been a fitting and wonderful swan song. There was still time for lunch and a final stroll through Jinghong before a Didi sped them to the airport and they were taking the long flight to Beijing. This passed quickly as he became completely absorbed in watching ‘Youth’ a wonderful film about a performance troupe in China’s sun drenched Southwest where he had just spent some time, during and after the cultural revolution. The temperature was surprisingly warm when then reached Beijing and he regretted donning a jacket and sporting long trousers, though they did make his case lighter. He enjoyed a new mushroom Chinese Burger, unpacked and as Beijing had suffered more sandstorms in their absence he dusted, hoovered and mopped, finally collapsing exhausted into bed and sleep.

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