Wudang Shan ( Hubei Province ) - Sacred Taoist Mnt - Also Home to Wushu Kung Fu & Taichi Monks
Nov 9, 2005
|Wednesday 9th Novenber
Well before I knew it, it was 3 in the morning and I attempted to get some shut eye, in amongst the stinky Chinese feet and snoring. Not a wink was had so the pod came into its element again, saw me through to 6 am when we pitched up in Xiang Fan.
Jumped straight in a minibus to Wudang Shan, the drive up to the hotels in the mountains was lush, real classic Chinese autumn mountain scene. Looked around some cool Toaist temples cut into the side of the mountain face, the atmos was great, real quite, as its out of season here, so no mass Chinese tour groups, can see how the monks become masters in Taichi with these surroundings round you.
That night chilled in our lush hotel room, even had heating, watched Finding Nemo in dubbed Chinese, which is always interesting. Some info came to hand tonight, that the so called lush mutton Laghmans that i was eating for my whole time in Uigur land could of also been Donkey meat, great I ve been eating mule, im no better then the french now.
Thursday 10th November
Ended rising at 12, needed it bad after the hell of a night on hard seat. Decided we would make the pilgrimage to the golden toaist temple up on the summit of Wudang Shan, the sign said 4 Ks, but said nothing of the 4000 steps between us and the summit, bastards.
I must of reached the summit after about two hours of pure stair work, made IBM look breezy. The views where awesome if not a bit misty, but the air was sweet as which makes a real change from the filth down in the cities. The Temple was lush and had loads of Taichi monks strutting about, you cant see them doing it mind you as they keep it real secret. Tried taking a photo of some young monks, one got well arsey, thought best stop dont wont my arse kicked. Managed to get myself lost on the way down the mountain, must of dropped down for about 20 mins til i thought na this is not right, dont want be stuck up here ruddy cold. Found the right path and got back just before it was pitch black.
That night sat and watched a crappy pirate copy of "Domino" some Keira Knightly flick, can you believe that even proper TV channels over here show pirates, what a joke.
Friday 11th November
Got up and hit this big Toaist Monastery, came across a Wushu academy on the way back, full of loads kids sent up here to become Kung Fu masters. Came across the Master, he was pretty young but real sterotyped, had long hair, whispy tash and beard, and wore those long socks tied over his trousers, looked like a young Pai Mei from Kill Bill.
From here we got back to Xiang Fan as we were travelling up to Zhengzhou and the Shoalin Temple. Managed to get a hard seat for an 8 hour trip, I promised I wouldnt do it again after the last one but this was only 8 hours rather than 12. Whilst waiting for the train we were attracting all sorts of attention from the masses, they all just stood round us staring, but used to that now. Out of nowhere this Chinese Student came up to us shouted the usual "Hallo" then " Welcome to Xiang Fan", he even gave me his email address and wouldnt leave us till we went through the gates, made hs day I bet, probably never actually spoken to westener, get that a lot over here.
The train pulled in and thank god it what is a new one, which makes a big difference on hard seat. The attention didnt stop in the waiting hall and we had a crowd round us for about an hour, some bloke opposite was spitting all over the floor, which was driving me nuts, so I showed him the bin and how to spit into it, he laughed and then copied me, I thought its not that hard you filthy bastard, hey. We then had another Tat lady come round, she was pretty fit this one, had a bit of banter with her, then decided to mug off the locals in english, they just sit and smile it cracks me up, nasty I know but when you are as bored as I am at 2 in the morning you would do the same