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Hiking photos – Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, 2012/09/16

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.

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A village dog, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

A village dog, looking through the corn husks.

the chestnut orchards, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

We walked through the chestnut orchards.

The villagers, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

The villagers use this trail a lot, and it's a nice easy start to the hike.

The hills, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

The hills around the village are filled with chestnut trees. We keep clear of the trees and don't take away any of the chestnuts—otherwise we won't be welcome back!

A local farmer, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

A local farmer displays his chestnuts. There has been more rain in Beijing this year, and the chestnuts have grown bigger than they did last season.

Hawthorns, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

Hawthorns are will be ready to eat in a few weeks time. They taste sweet and sour, good for your appetite and heart.

the first high point of the hike, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

Here we're beginning the climb up to the first high point of the hike.

persimmons, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

These are persimmons, and they've ripened earlier than usual.

a preying mantis, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

We spotted a preying mantis in the middle of the road.

colourful flowers, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

The road through the second village was lined with colourful flowers.

Beautiful pink flowers, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

Beautiful pink flowers.

 A huge squash , Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

A huge squash.

Deling, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

Walking past the entrance of Deling, one of the tombs in the area.

, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

The stele at the front of Deling.

the bigger tombs, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

In the distance we could see Changling, one of the bigger tombs.

snacks and drinks, Beijing Hikers Longevity Village to the Ming Tombs, September16, 2012

We had snacks and drinks before heading back to the city.

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Hike photos – Boxing Day Great Wall and Hot Springs, 2012/12/26

In Brief: On Boxing Day in 2012 we did a special hike: a climb on the snowy Great Wall, followed by a soak in the pool at a secluded hot springs hotel.

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