Leshan and Emeishan
Select any image to enlarge.

October 16 2001

"Da Fo's toe so big don't ya know." Julie is duly amazed for the Leshan Buddha, known as Da Fo, is the largest in the world. He recently increased his lead when the Taliban dynamited No.2 in Afghanistan.



Knee slapper
October 16 2001

The Leshan Buddha actually sits across the river from the eponymous town. The easiest way to reach it is by ferry and foot.






Monk Haitong
October 16 2001

Monk Haitong is the man responsible for Leshan being on the map today. A devout Buddhist, he hoped the massive Buddha would protect the fishermen plying the three converging rivers beneath him. If is eyes look a little strange in this picture, they should. The story is that Haitong spent most of his life working on the giant Buddha and once, when it looked like funding would run dry, Haitong gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity. Though the Buddha was not finished in his lifetime, it did help the fishermen. So much rock was hewn from the cliff that the river bed was raised and he current slowed.


Autumn on Mt.Emei
October 18 2001

There are seven mountains holy to the Taoist or Buddhist religions in China. The hike to the summit of Emeishan is a pilgrimage undertaken by the faithful that takes two days of stair climbing through dense fog. The young unfit need not apply unless they want to be embarrassed by the scores of ancient Chinese folk bounding up ahead of them. I was dreadfully sick so we took the bus-cable car option.
On the rare occasions the veil of mist parted, one could see autumn in full swing on the upper slopes of Emei Shan. The base of the mountain lingers in late summer.



October 17 2001

It is possible to have names or messages engraved onto a padlock for a small fee. They are then locked onto the fence lining the path to the uppermost temple on the mountain.



Lonely sweeper
October 17 2001

The cold wet mist does not prevent the sweeper from keeping vigilant watch over this parking lot.




Mist enters the temple
October 18 2001

Temples dot the path to the summit. A Buddhist temple is unknown enough for an English boy. Add clouds of mist wafting in through the door and it becomes positively otherworldly




Misty peaks
October 18 2001

The enveloping clouds of mist dropped down just far enough to view the surrounding lesser peaks. Briefly. After about 25 minutes mist reclaimed any visibility at all.




Nigel condensed
October 18 2001

Have I mentioned at all that it was misty? The walk down in the morning was cold and wet - just like walking through a rain cloud. So much water condensed on my head, my hair looked white in some places



Porter house
October 17 2001

Now here is a way to earn your money. These husky strapping fellows will carry you up the mountain in the same chairs they are currently recuperating in.




Golden summit temple
October 17 2001

Golden temple at the summit of Mt.Emei, the ultimate goal is a peaceful place entwined with soft chanting and tendrils of vapor.

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