Perils and Pumpkins

325907832_f5362ad53e_o.jpg My Love Ones, I hope you remember this pic (from last weeks’ post), of what I thought was the rather perilous road that took me and Big Daddy through the Ecuadorean Andes in the mid-1970′s. It inspired this exercise in one-up-man-ship from an enthusiastic reader from Malaysia.


huashan_trail.jpgNow THIS is perilous. It is a trail on Mt Huashan in China – a section of a popular HIKING trail (I kid you not). It is well documented by Rick Archer and for the full story I encourage you to check out his page(http://www.ssqq.com/ARCHIVE/vinlin27d.htm). Archer explains that this is “mountain hiking” and as such is different from “mountain climbing”. It is part of a well-travelled public trial that is accessible to anyone. When I first saw this photo I thought “what sort of maniac would attempt this” but the photos of the other part of the trail answered my question. Me! It is breathtakingly beautiful and I so want to go there. Mt Huashan, located in the Shaanxi Province is one of the 5 sacred mountains of China and the holy land of Taoism. Spiritual pilgrims, wandering monks and tourists alike are drawn to the many Taoist temples and sacred shrines that dot the trail. The mountain is thought to have been, at one time home to Lao Tze the founder of Taoism. The mountain is distinguished by having 5 separate peaks and if viewed from the right perspective they are said to look like the petals of a flower. OK, so I want to go even more now! Facing Sun peak, Jade Maiden peak, Lotus peak and Clouds Stand peak all offer challenges and exquisite rewards, but it is the majestic South peak or the lyrically named Landing Wild Geese peak that is both the most challenging and the most exquisite of all, as if the Gods were forcing us to pay the piper. To the valiant go the spoils!

huashan-stairway.jpgThe journey begins with 15 “tortuous” km of “heavenly stairs”, which leads to the even steeper “Canglong Ridge” which lead into the narrow “Jinsud Pass” which ends with a Gondola ride to the perilous “South peak” and this apparently is where the real fun begins. This is where you encounter “Changkong Zhandao” or “floating-in-air road”, the charming stretch seen above – a plank path built along the side of a vertical cliff. Sorry, but no can doodely. There are limits, even for an adventuress full of bravado! This would cause me to hyper-ventilate and quake with fear and it is just NOT going to happen. Yes. people actually DO this, and many of them apparently – and for “recreational enjoyment”! For those, “this place is dangerous in the way a beautiful woman is dangerous – risky, but impossible to resist.”  To them I say “go get her….even to the women!” 

 huashan-stairs.jpgThis exquisite map shows the 5 “petals” and the summit of the South peak. Below, from Rick Archers site, one of the many reasons to make the journey.

chesspavillionhuashan.jpg 



_newpumpkinskull.jpgOn to other things. This was the week of
ghoulish gourds, scary squash and creepy carvings. When Mad Max was younger we always held a pumpkin carving contest on the Sunday before Halloween, which was hotly contested. Sam and Peter, our “Internationally Acclaimed” judges took their roles seriously and kept adding more and more categories so that virtually anyone under 4 ft tall was a winner! My friend Neil carries on the tradition as do David and Juli and this week reminded reminded me of how great it is to be a guest! For next year check out the truly amazing pumpkin carvings of Ray Villafane. (www.villafanestudios.com) I spent the week wondering how old “kids” have to be before they stop asking for Halloween costumes. My living room was awash with bright yellow chicken feathers and I dusted off the prehistoric Singer sewing machine and turned out yet another masterpiece, with the usual aid of glue-gun and duct tape! My 19 year old went as “the chicken” from Family Guy. I waited for the moment when I hear from “last minute Larry”. “Mum, can you make me a Zoro costume for tonight?” All I got was a request to join the block long line-up outside the local haberdashery the day before Halloween so that I might procure for him a tube of green glitter. Last year he brought the house down with his impersonation of Robert Goulet in a turtle neck sweater, Tweed jacket and pocket square – all I had to provide was a shopping spree at the vintage store, Value Village. My kind of costume! 

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween and remember,

LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX!

imgp2308.jpgimgp2307.jpgP.S. here is the view from my Living Room window.           

One Response

  1. Lorraine Flanagan Says:

    Hi Peg, go on! I can see you on that plank at some point soon. However, why would you want to stray from that fabulous view??

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