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Dehang: "Jiangxi Scenic Area"

Dehang

Hunan Province

China

 June 30, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank heavens!  I remembered to bring along my Leki Super Micro easy-lock, collapsible walking stick.

The hilly path along the Yuquan riverbank is narrow, rocky, muddy, slippery and flooded in places.  Treacherous.  I should have rented a pair of straw shoes!    

Feeling my way along the track, with one hand holding the stick and the other my camera, there is no way I can also use my umbrella as I approach the Liusha waterfall.

Anyway, the umbrella would spoil the fun as the mist floats from the waterfall to cover my face with a fine spray.  Carved into a large boulder, the sign reads: "The Flowing Voile Waterfall is 216m high and 30m wide being the highest waterfall nationwide.  The water falls down the scarp like a hanging shade of pearl and a piece of voile gently kissing your face."

Aside from the cosmetic moisture of the mist and the challenge of the course, I am surrounded by vertical mountain spikes and the flourishing valley that has been carved by the river.  It's a spectacular spot - without any other spectators.

I am virtually alone here in the Jialongxi Scenic Area.   I do encounter one or two small groups of slightly younger explorers who laughingly glide along my obstacle-laden trail.  Occasionally I spot a farmer in a small terraced field that is tucked into the folds of the valley floor and hillside.

Back in Dehang, a riverside minority Miao village, kids swim in the river while their parents tend the small shops.

This is my kind of day: strolling alone in a remote mountain hamlet, a rushing stream, a waterfall cascading down from a karst peak, a refreshing mist in my face.     

Thank heavens for my walking stick.  And my umbrella - it rains here in the mountains.

Always on the trail,

Jan

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