The next morning, I looked out of the Ping An Hotel windows expectedly trying to see if the cloudy mists had broken. On my way to breakfast it didn’t look to promising; low clouds and fog still obscured the view into the valley (above). But only 40 minutes later, I noticed that the view of Longshen was quite clear and the clouds were lifting (below). I was very excited to head out before the clouds rolled in again and I started my trek immediately.
On my way out of the village I ran into some more long-hair Yao women who were warming themselves by a fire. These women didn’t appear to be selling anything but as I approached I saw that they were selling photo opportunities; for about a dollar, they would pose for a photo with you.
There was still some fog but I was able to see (somewhat) down into the valley. It would prove to be “hit and miss” all day with breaks in the fog allowing meto see the valleys. In this photo below, I saw, for the first time the extent and depth of the rice terraces. It really is quite an ingenious use of hills turning them into arable farm land capable of supporting rice. I have seen terraced corn fields in Peru but the rice has the added challenge of needing a flowing water source. Channeling the water continually downhill from hill to hill is an an engineering accomplishment.
Even though it was still a bit hazy, when I arrived at the trail turnoff, I could see the rice terraces on our side of the valley. At this same spot yesterday I could only see about 10 meters.
Towards the afternoon the clouds lifted a bit and gave me some beautiful views. It was not rice season so all of the terraces were dry. I looked at the photos when each of these plots was full of water with small rice buds poking up through the surface and I thought that this would be something to see.
While on the trail I took some time to work on some macro-photography. I found these little yellow flowers and thought that they would make a nice subject. I also saw purple flowers, bamboo, and several waterfalls.
Along the trails were small waterfalls that trickled down the sides of the trails. The sounds of the water and little birds chirping made such a tranquil and placid setting and despite the fog, it was a beautiful trail.
With great ingenuity, the locals have channeled water from a higher mountain to the tallest hill in the area and then the water is forked off to each hill by way of little stone or cement channels. At the top of each hill, water is channeled to the top terrace and then trickles down to each successive terrace below it. In this way, a single water source can fill the rice terraces on several hills.
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