Saturday, May 17, 2008

Putuoshan - Day 2

While we were waiting for all of the 20-somethings to wake up, we went to the beach for a little early morning sand-play. 

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We spotted this woman washing her vegetables on the street, getting ready for the breakfast and lunch crowds.
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Once everyone was ready and fed, we started our climb of Mount Putuo.  One of the ivy-grown walls next to the path...
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Some of the beautiful canopy over our heads...
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This monk was doing his pilgrimage to the top, complete with backpack.  He would kneel and touch his head to the ground about every 3 steps.  Exhausting!  Passers-by would give him some water to help him on his way.  There's Peter, passing him on his right.
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Jack looked in the bushes for critters to take pictures of.  I'll do a separate blog of all of the critter pictures he took!
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The boys really loved all of the green moss and wanted their picture taken by the mossy rocks here...
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Sophie sat down on the stairs for a break.  Doesn't she look tired?
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After an hour's worth of stairs, here we are at the top!
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We walked down a wooded path to the temple on the top.  Here we are at the temple entrance with the sign behind us to prove we all made it!
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We strolled inside the temple to take a look around at the grounds...
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LEFT:  a set of prayer pillows under some decorations hung from the ceiling.  RIGHT:  Peering through a doorway into one of the temple rooms.
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Looking down one of the many temple hallways...
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This is the typical pose we saw of many hundreds of people who come to Putuoshan for their pilgrimage.
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More prayers being said...
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Laura and Kendall hanging out in the courtyard...
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More open air courtyard of this mountain-top temple.
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Part of the group taking a rest and looking at pictures after our hike up the mountain and walking through the temple!
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There are many beads and Buddhist artifacts for sale up and down the mountain.  This man was waving is arm to beckon would-be customers over to his display...
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Kendall and Sue enjoying the view on the way back down the mountain.
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Sophie caught a ride most of the way down with Aamir or some other poor sucker who she was able to beg into carrying her!
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Jack was a trooper up and down the mountain.  Kendall showed him how to take pictures of bugs and other creatures so he stopped every 50 feet to do so!
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At the bottom of the mountain, we had to cross a park to get to the beach.  We found many pigeons and - pigeon feed for sale!  Jack laid down on the grass and asked us to sprinkle some food around!
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He loved it!  The pigeons did have a hard time staying on his slippery, short hair...
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Sophie also had a great time being with the pigeons.  Peter however couldn't be bothered.  He made a bee-line for the beach!
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The pigeons also loved Sue.  They would land on her even if she didn't have any food!
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Rebecca tried and tried to get a bird to land on her, but they just wouldn't!  I told her to act like a tree, which she is doing here.

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Finally, success!  The birds found her and her food.

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The birds sure enjoyed perching on Sue!
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They were also (rightly) a little skittish of landing on the kids, but Peter saw what fun we were having and came back to join in.
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However, the beach was beckoning and what a nice beach it was, called the "Thousand Step Beach".
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We bought (negotiated!) a sand bucket with tools for the kids, and Sophie immediately ran to the water's edge to break ground.
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The boys commandeered some of the more useful tools and started building a sand castle.
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This was Rebecca's first time to ever sea the sea, so she really enjoyed the water and the sand.
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She built her first sand castle with the boys.  They started one, but the tide was coming in so fast that they had to restart further up the beach.
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The rest of the group had seen the beach before, and they had different ideas!
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Lots of little things in bloom...
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Jack, helping to make an earthworks to protect the sand castle from the onslaught of waves.
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LEFT: Jack, who we told not to get wet, now thoroughly soaked, and RIGHT:  Sophie loved to run so much on the beach we had to track her down by her footprints.
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The three engineers, calling their masterpiece complete as the tide started to claim it back for its own.
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All refreshed after a long beach nap!
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After a bus ride back to town, we looked for a place to have dinner.  We passed by the town well where we saw many people come to get water by lowering the bucket...

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