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Tour de China – Day 11

Location: Dengfeng, Henan, China (34.46308°N, 113.04591°E)

Mile: 398 (at bicycle club meeting)

This morning my roommate and fellow Yichang bicycle club rider decided to go to another hotel in the city (that’s hosting meeting participants) for breakfast. The rest of the Yichang team is there and they told my roommate that the steamed bread was better there. It’s true. It was. Also, we were served dishes at our tables rather than brave the buffet mob.
Following breakfast, we rode to a Taoist Temple. Taoism worships an assortment of eastern gods and spirits, not to mention ancestors. The temple grounds, like that of the Shaolin temple, was quite intricate with many of the ancient buildings placed in certain spots to facilitate the worship of spirits. For instance, you pass through several gates before actually reaching the worship house of the main spirit. Along the way you can bow and light incense to minor deities. (Minor observation: The Taoist priests has some of the longest beards and mustaches I’ve seen in China.) The building housing the main deity actually had two bedrooms on either side with a reclining statue of the deity with a blanket over it (the wife was in the other bedroom). Well, it was an interesting cultural experience, but a sad one, seeing people bow before man-made statues that can neither see nor hear nor speak.

This afternoon I went to the post office to mail off literature I didn’t want to carry back. Then I walked around town, getting water to fill up my water bottles and a few travel snacks. It’s been an interesting time, and certainly a very rich one language wise.

We should be off early tomorrow morning! Homeward bound…

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