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Published: June 19th 2013
On my second day at Ma Ti Si I rode to another grotto, 13km away. The Tibetan guesthouse owners had told me there was a road to go to Guan Yin Dong. What they didn’t tell me (or did I miss it?) was that the road was unpaved and VERY bumpy! It took me 90 minutes to cover the 13km. The scenery was splendid though! I took (too) many pictures and I imagined building a little summer mud house for the future…
Fields were covered in blue-purple flowers (I don’t know what they’re called, but I’ll find out) and I only ran into a couple of tractors and local farmers on their motorbikes. The only noise was that of cuckoo birds and bees: soooo relaxing!
The grotto was also very cool. Built up the red cliff was a small temple. I had to go through a tunnel carved in sandstone to access the main cell. I can’t imagine how many years it took to dig it. An 80-year old lady monk welcomed me and showed me the place. She was in such great shape for her age and so lively. We talked about all the big Buddha around China
and she knew what she was talking about. She offered me some dry bread and watermelon. She said one American tourist and a Japanese couple had visited this grotto a few years ago. She also indicated me to go a bit further up the road to see another beautiful grotto up a cliff.
I was sad to leave Ma Ti Si. I could have easily spent a week there. The view was one of the best I had seen in a long time. The people were great and welcoming; the mountain offered all kinds of activities and peaceful spots to enjoy. And I got a room for 40 yuan only… Great Life!
However, time had come for me to get going. I wanted to reach Zhangye city, some 90km north.
Ma Ti Si, I’ll be back!
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