We got up and started the day with an easy but really good fun trail out to the Water Curtain on the Baiyang Trail. It weaves its way through an old route through the gorge – one of many attempts that are now abandoned. Starting with several long tunnels and proceeding to some great suspension bridges it makes its way to a tunnel that allows water to drain through its roof in a fantastic display. Officially closed, you can still enter and experience it for yourself.
Chasing Waterfalls (Mum, valiantly defeating another bridge!)
The whole place looked like a Chinese watercolour the whole time (spot us on the bridge)
After stopping for a bite to eat we ventured for the short Huaran Pavilion Trail in the afternoon, warming up for a larger one the day after. What I did not really realise (lacking a decent map) was that the trail ascended at a constant 45 degrees from the valley floor until reaching the high road pass 1500 vertical feet later.
It was an amazing ride and the views were astonishing, but boy did we ache after so many steps up! Interestingly, it was built by the Japanese during the First World War to attack the local tribes. And even more interestingly, we saw a landslide occur on the other side of the valley as we made our way back down – the sound was horrific and seeing a whole hillside of trees on the move was quit surreal.
View at the top! The Huaran Pavilion after a punishing climb