Plans don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to, and today was no exception. We started our day with a bit of deja vu,—starting from the same place two days in a row—and grabbed a taxi back to where we left off yesterday. There we met our friend and her son and daughter who we spent most of the day with despite our plan to hit the road after a quick tour of the temple.
They were super eager to show us around Gua Tai Shan—a beautifully tranquil, small mountain with a gently winding river in the surrounding valley. Our friend and tour guide pointed out this was shaped like the Yin Yang itself! She patiently explained who Fuxi is and the history surrounding him. She explained the concepts of Yin and Yang and the Ba Gua, or Eight-diagram principals, as we slowly soaked up the moment. Maybe it was just a nice day, but it seriously felt like a soothing place to be. As we hung out and asked our questions, the day slowly got away from us in a warm and sunny way atop this peaceful ancient place.
Afterward, we thought we were about to embark on a late start until we were invited back to Tianshui—yet again—for a home cooked lunch and afternoon tea. The experience was lovely. First, we
walked down a crowded street that was celebrating the Ginko Trees dropping their leaves. People played pianos and groups of children played full drum sets in unison as the crowds played with the
Ginko leaves that carpeted the street. It felt like we were famous as we were quickly and relentlessly swarmed by individuals and families taking photos.
Later we went to their home for rest and relaxation. We helped cut dough into noodles, much to our hosts’ enjoyment, and drank tea as our host pulled out all the stops with exquisite tea and expensive alcohol for us to taste. During our time together she helped us sort out a new plan for us to stay in Tianshui one last night (hopefully), and also to get us back on the road tomorrow morning.
Every day is leg day on this expedition, but today was most definitely brain day. We learned a lot about the foundations of Chinese culture and tea. Spent a fantastic day with new friends who graciously opened up their family and home to us. These are the interactions that can’t be planned and certainly won’t be forgotten.
Distance: 0 km
Total distance: 448 km
End: Tianshui - Hotel
Written by Pat