We had a blue-sky day for our walk from Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, and the air temperature was just right as well – not too hot, not too cold … near perfect!
We started out in a small village nicknamed Longevity Village. Locals say that they live longer because of the minerals in the local water, and the small settlement certainly does have its share of older people.
The first part of the trail took us through the chestnut orchards that surround the village, and we saw locals hard at work for the harvest season, using long sticks to whack the chestnuts out of the trees for collection.
As we got higher up into the hills, we switched over on to an old trail that was used a shortcut between the two villages before public transportation was available. The trail is used much less now—perhaps just by us hikers!
We stopped for lunch in the next little village, and then headed up a bushy valley, chopping our way through the undergrowth on the way up to the saddle on the ridge. From the saddle we headed down, passing a small dam on the way to Yong Ling, one of the tombs in the area that is not open to the public.
The bus was nearby, and we filled up on snacks and drinks before boarding for the ride back to Beijing city.iv>