D15: 富县 - Me China Red - CycleBlaze

April 2, 2021

D15: 富县

By way of it not being as freezing cold today as it was yesterday, I strongly consider the possibility of visiting one of the sites inside Fu City. However, by the time I've made it to a pharmacy, picked up antibiotics for the sinus infection that is definitely going to end up making me need to see a doctor, and gotten lunch, I decide that I don't actually like being outside after all.

Also, my choices in Fu are limited to a historic pagoda which, a sufficiency of visits to historic pagodas tells me, is a tall pointy building halfway up a hill; and a Daoist temple that I visited in 2012 and which, unlike the pagoda, is all the way up a hill rather than only halfway.

I've looked over my pictures of the temple my last time passing through Fu and I got to admit, it's a pretty cool temple. Totally the sort of place I might enjoy visiting if visiting didn't require 200 stairs. But visiting does require 200 stairs (or a nearly 2km long rear driveway) and my interest level just isn't that high when I could go back to a hotel room where there's heat and coffee.

Checking out my route for the next day I'm climatologically able to get back on my bike, I notice that while my paper maps have me zigging to the west and the Shimen Township Grottoes, the version I plotted on Google has my zagging to the east and the Liuyuan Grottoes which: 
a) aren't on my paper maps
b) aren't definitively on any of the Chinese Maps
c) don't have a strong presence online.

Challenge accepted.

I find two blogposts and a journal article which, after starting on (of all places) the Collections of the Paris Museum's website, I eventually find a digitized version. While I'm doing that, Tyra gets through to the local Bureau of Antiquities where she is unceremoniously told "that's not a tourist site" and "your boss shouldn't go there" by someone who has absolutely no interest in providing directions more detailed than what I've already found online (on the G309 a kilometer east of the expressway onramp) and saying that if I absolutely insist on visiting the Grottoes, I should just wander over to the general vicinity and start asking locals. 

Just this trip alone, and just with reference to grottoes, I've already seen how well that approach didn't work in Mailuo, Qifeng, and Changqiang.

My hotel owner hasn't heard of the grottoes themselves, but confirmation that they actually exist (in the form of photos) is enough to get her to go calling around for me to find me someone who does and to schedule me a morning taxi out there for tomorrow morning.

Today's ride: 2 km (1 miles)
Total: 554 km (344 miles)

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