Another day, another trip: Oct. 5 found us headed to Jincheng Mountain. We wound along through many small villages and farm compounds. Every once in a while we would pass a concentration of new homes being built—evidence of China’s efforts to “build a new countryside”. The narrow roads and switchback curves, gave us lots of opportunities to witness how to handle a bus when encountering pedestrians, motorbikes, cars, and buses coming from the other direction.
Once on top, we broke into groups of 3 or 4 and were handed compasses and hand-drawn maps with different points of interest circled. We spent the next few hours exploring panoramic viewpoints, cliff-face shrines, and general natural beauty. After lunch, we visited the mountaintop Buddhist temple, including one sanctuary with 500 highly-individualized images of the Buddha’s first followers.