Our second morning in La Yue Shan again saw trails of mist hugging the lush mountainside. From the stream at the bottom of the village we followed Yang Laoshi up the trails towards the clouds. We passed outcrops of rock roses, rhododendron not yet flowering, and a rare lady’s slipper orchid on the steep climb. Resting often for views of the valley we learned that the river below joins the Yangtze farther to the West. Then, rounding the mountain, we reached the stupa, a holy site for the Buddhist religion. We explored and learned how our homestay families incorporate spirituality into their lives while having less contact with formal Buddhist traditions. This is believed to be due to their farming lifestyle which discourages children being sent away to study as monks.
A scenic picnic of baozi and walnuts harvested in the valley was followed by a return to the village. Our families have welcomed us warmly and fed us plentifully in their beautiful homes.
We have learned they love the NBA, have children and relatives that work in the cities, and have immense knowledge of the plants and patterns of their environment.
Tomorrow we will have the chance to learn traditional weaving and embroidery, basket weaving, cooking, and whistle making from our homestay community. Then we will be back to Chengdu for a brief night before a flight takes us to Beijing and the bustle of the city.