It takes about 2-3 hours to drive from central Beijing to Gubeikou (the station that supplies this family of villages). It takes the train 4-5 hours. It is, however, a very scenic journey that winds through the hills using a series of viaducts and tunnels. This morning we climbed up the hill to the station to see the Beijing train arrive late morning. We also saw a number of freight trains go through, carrying timber, coal and livestock. I was quite exciting being at the same level and in such close proximity to these huge engines as they trundled through this quiet rural station.

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