Before today, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13 years old. Twenty-eight YEARS. I had two bad spills in less than a week, and wanted nothing to do with them.
The school I’m with in Zhongshan regularly arranges for its teachers to go on trips around the city. Today, we rented bikes and went around the reservoir, which is all parkland with beautiful artworks and lookout points scattered throughout. Note: we rented BIKES.
I decided not to tell my co-worker Nicola about my phobia before we went. I figured “They SAY you never forget how to ride a bike: let’s find out!” Mostly, I just really wanted to go, and was sick of such a stupid thing standing in my way.
I didn’t kill myself, or anyone else. I had a few near-misses of both. Exaggerating slightly.) But I was indeed fine, and the ride was astounding. I will need to go back, because there are more trails, and we didn’t see everything even on the one we did because it got dark.
Lots of water – ready to roll.
A gazebo near the start of the trail.
There were markers on each kilometre of the trail, and this the dragon, from the Chinese Zodiac. Which means there were 12 of them. 12 kilometres!!
This was put in place where a temple used to be.
The rocks which were part of the original temple. No concept of how old it was…
Nicola insisted on taking lots of pictures of me.
First part of the reservoir we saw.
Gate down to the water, guarded by lions.
Stunning art pieces all along the trail.
Very busy, and it was a Thursday afternoon!
We stopped for a snack – tofu sweetened with honey. Nicola had it warm on the left. Mine is cold – very yummy.
A sculpture near one the town’s original cisterns. I’m learning Mandarin…slowly. How hard is it? Nicola, a native speaker, couldn’t translate the middle character on the left! The first is “water”, the last is “horse”.
This is, sadly, typical of China: the cistern’s spout has been repaired with the top of a Coke bottle.
Under the bridge beside the cistern.
Another bridge over the river: see the fish heads sticking out from the side!
One of the original small dams.
This reminded me a bit of the exposed rock beside the TransCanada into BC.
This is where Zhongshan’s first ferry service docked.
The original ferry house. You can’t go in.
Carvings on a tree.
I’ll have to come back in spring and see this in bloom.
Leading to the next cool thing…
…this. It looks like (just) a neat art piece, but it’s also an observation tower. Go in and up the steps…
….and you see this!
They can’t be seen from shore!
I suspect they’re old bridge pilings, reused for sculpture.
A wide part of the reservoir. You can just see the city start again.
I loved this: it was a kind of land sculpture, representing the sea.
Conch shell, of granite.
Nicola was concerned that the water level is so low. We shouldn’t have been able to the brown shore at all.
Gorgeous little water feature on the side of the trail. The flat part the water pours onto…
…looks like this.
This lady sat beside the water.
The reason the water drops off in a straight line is because there’s a weir.
Yet another bridge. But this one had steep, narrow staircases going up…
…so you can see the river from even higher up!
Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to bike up THAT path.
HUGE lookout point near the end of the trail.
The end of the reservoir; to the left is the major dam. From here you can see how massive it is.
This road is along the top of the reservoir’s dam.
The other side of the dam. Lush trees, like everywhere here.