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Time and Space of Ancient Path in Jixi

[ Jixi ] - [ 2014-07-09 09:28:10 ]

Chinese article and all the photos by Henry Chen, translated by Victor Zhang

In reality time-space is personal. Connection and appearance are demand from the bottom of our heart. The ancient path of Jixi is scenery in a traveler’s eye, an amusement park in a kid’s eyes, a way to survive under a father’s feet, and a chance to taste delicious dumplings of Jixi. The remnant of memory is the reincarnation that’s never gone.


Picture 1: Huizhou - Huangzhou Ancient Path - One of 10 famous Hiking routes in China

Jixi Ancient Path 1 -  绩溪古道时空 1

The curved line on the cliff is Huizhou-Huangzhou ancient path, known as one of the top ten hiking routes, with a length of 27 km. As a major passage for Huizhou native to east area in the history, it begins from Yuchuan village, Fuling town, Jixi County of Anhui, ends at Zhejitian village, Qingliangfeng town of Zhejiang. Huizhou native usually pause here on their way back home, overlook the crisscross of paths, fertile farmlands, and familiar Huizhou-style houses. “First Pass in South Anhui” in the near front seems to be the landmark of getting home.


Picture 2: A farmer who should be a father pushing a wheelbarrow

Jixi Ancient Path 2 - 绩溪古道时空


Picture 3: A group of travellers

Jixi Ancient Path 3 - 绩溪古道时空

Meanwhile we may encounter outdoor travelers who are on the same country road. Under the same burning sun, what the tourist feels is totally different from what the farmer bears. They are not in the same kind of time & space.


Picture 4: Farmhouse and firewood

Jixi Ancient Path 4 - 绩溪古道时空

The mottled rural wall is often accompanied with a pile of firewood, nearby stone-paved way leads to the place with which farmers are familiar. Besides sun or thunder in summer, every now and then crowing or barking in village echo the existence of life.


Picture 5: A mural of Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in 1970s

Jixi Ancient Path 5 - 绩溪古道时空

A drawing is on the sitting room wall in a farmhouse at the ancient path. The owner said it is a mural drawn during Cultural Revolution, memory of 70s. In the center is the grand Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge with motor vehicles running through, a train crossing Yangtze River, on the river a ship seems to blow its whistle. On the left are hydropower station, pomegranates and paddy rice, while right are power station, pears and wheat. Modernization of industry, agriculture is the dream of every socialist builder at that time, fortunately most of the dream has come to true today.


Picture 6: A boy in stream

Jixi Ancient Path 5 - 绩溪古道时空

Along the ancient path, where there is a house there is a stream. Rural childhood is happy. Spring water flows down from the top of Mt.Qingliangfeng, clear and cool. So children can enjoy what a fish or shrimp can enjoy in summer.


Picture 7: A donkey rider on the ancient path

Jixi Ancient Path 5 - 绩溪古道时空

Once in a while we may come across a donkey rider. Since mountain trail is narrow and steep, donkey is still the main conveyance for the inhabitant along the ancient path. Donkey can carry cargo, and let its owner spare himself. Local people often regard donkey as their buddy.


Picture 8: A mountaineer picking iwatake mushroom

Jixi Ancient Path 5 - 绩溪古道时空

It is a piece of luck to run into a mountaineer picking iwatake mushroom. With a bundle of rope, they can climb upon sheer cliff, and collect precious food material, called iwatake mushroom or “shier”. In the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, this delicacy is also considered as a special health product in summer, for it contains a variety of amino acids and vitamins, has properties of clearing heat and removing toxicity.


Picture 9: Jixi dumplings

Jixi Ancient Path 5 - 绩溪古道时空

Jixi dumplings ready for boiling or steaming. It must be starving and thirsty after a day’s hiking in hot summer. It’d be better to inform the host in advance to prepare steamy and juicy dumplings if you’d like to stay overnight at a farmhouse along the path. When dumplings are served, let it cool down for a while, then take them all at a stretch. What a tasty and soul-stirring feeling! Jixi people are particular about dumplings. That has mushrooms, tofu, and minced pork inside as dumpling stuffing, chopped chive and fresh dregs of fat for the soup. At this special time and space – just before sunset and at this ancient path, Jixi dumpling will make all your sense organs – eyes, ears, nose and tongue altogether melted into a bowl of chaos world. (P. S.: In Mandarin Chinese the word ‘chaos’ has the same pronunciation as that of the word ‘dumpling’.)



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