In June we made this year’s first trip to the Bashang Grasslands, located in Hebei province, north of Beijing. On the trip the highlight was two days of hiking in the grasslands. We also made time to try a little horse-milk liquor, and enjoyed dancing, a performance by locals, and an evening bonfire.
We had two very different kinds of weather – one day rainy, one day clear and sunny. Despite the rain we had a good hike, and the weather on the second day was perfect!
We received a special grasslands welcome. First step, a white scarf
The second part of the welcome – knock back a shot of horse-milk liquor!
The local custom is to toast to heaven and earth before the drink.
Everyone got a taste of the good stuff.
The next part of the welcome: a circle dance.
The lady with the special dress was the master of ceremonies.
If the shoe fits … The range of hiking footwear at this shop was somewhat limited.
A Mongolian-style hat.
On the morning of the second day, we headed into the hills for a hike.
Enjoying the sunshine and the view.
We had a good steep climb up this hill, a good stretch of exercise.
We took a short break on the ridge to enjoy the cool breeze.
The trail took us along the edge of a birch forest.
White birch trees cover the hillsides.
Green hills, blue skies.
Hold that pose, horses!
On the longer hike we did, we brought along some horses just in case anyone got tired of walking.
Long views of the grasslands.
These pretty flowers grow everywhere throughout the grassland. Careful, though – the roots are supposed to be poisonous!
We did some ridge walking on the last day of the trip.
This ridge trail took us down towards a little village.
Near the little village we found a herd of cows in their pen.
The hike finished up following a horse track back to the guesthouse.