On June 27, 2014, we headed out to the Bashang Grasslands, a cool and breezy spot in Hebei Province, 280km north of Beijing. On the trip we hiked through the hills and meadows, and enjoyed a bonfire and BBQ – just the way to escape from the summer heat in Beijing.
This was our first visit of 2014, and we typically make a trip once a month from June through to September.
We arrived at our guesthouse late on Friday night, and got to bed early, ready for a full day of hiking on the Saturday.
On Saturday morning we headed out for a new hike in the area: a lovely 11km hike, but with about 500m of ascent.
We came back to our guesthouse for a big lunch, and then the afternoon was free – some people hired horses for a ride, others did more hiking, and some chose to relax in the area around the guesthouse.
The next day we did a longer hike, going for about 13km up into the hills and along a ridgeline, passing a small village on the way to the end.
After a late lunch, it was time to head back to Beijing!
We started our first hike with a walk beside a field of buckwheat.
Taking a break up on the ridgeline.
The hiking trail took us through grassy meadows.
We followed a trail along the ridgeline. The hills don’t look too big here, but we were nearly at 2,000m above sea level.
A nice spot for a photo.
We hiked through the hills, meeting a flock of sheep on the way.
Taller grass up higher, with a wind farm in the distance.
We kept walking up the ridgeline, aiming for a high point.
Time for a rest!
This was a really comfortable place to lie about.
A good place for photos, too.
Coming down from the high point.
At the guesthouse we were welcomed in traditional grasslands fashion, with a shot of strong liquor.
We were also gifted with white scarves, which represent wishes for your happiness.
On the second hike, some horses got themselves mixed up with hikers, with two ponies trying to get back to their mother.
Sheep grazing on a ridgeline.
Dinner at the guesthouse.
We had a bonfire, and also sent off some floating lanterns.
On the second day we did a hike up to another high point.
Atop the tallest hill was a cairn of rocks.
After a break at the top, we continued the hike.
There were pigs roaming about in the fields near the villages.
Our hike took us past a cowpen.
The little pig was loving its mudbath.
Our horseriding crew!