Since people were hung over from drinking and clubbing late last night, there were a lot of people who arrived late to the lobby in the morning. We were supposed to meet in the hotel lobby at 10am, but we did not end up leaving until 11am, which was really irritating for me at least. Since they were out partying, the rest of us who did not party would suffer by being able to spend less time in the Stone Forest. We also had to move out of our hotel rooms that morning because we were switching rooms to the 14th floor where we would be able to get constant internet access. We had to have our luggage in Mr. Bi’s room by 9:30am, but some people did not get their luggage in until 10:30am, again those people being the ones who were out late drinking.
After we all boarded the bus, we rode for about an hour before getting to this restaurant in a different county. It was somewhat near the Stone Forest and was famous for its Peking Duck and fish. Both of those dishes are apparently famed all over China, so it was
pretty exciting to get to able to try it. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the duck. It was served on a small plate and was basically slices of duck skin with a little meat clinging to it. It was oily and not too fantastic in my opinion. The other people at my table had the same impression. However the people at the other table were shocked that we had not finished our duck, so they took ours, among other dishes because they had most of the boys at their table. I wanted to like the duck, but I guess it just did not suit my taste buds.
The other famous dish, which was some kind of fish, came out in a big pot and I found it to be absolutely delicious. The broth it was in was spicy and the fish was full of small bones, but the fish meat was really savory and yummy. The other table had a blast eating the fish eyeballs again, so we gave them the head of our fish. Apparently the fish cheeks have the most delicious meat, but the fish cheeks of our fish had been separated from the head.
After that very filling lunch, we rode the bus to the Stone Forest. We all naturally split up into groups, so it ended up that Lewis, Jordan, Sammy, Carolyn, Sinead and I were in one group. We walked around and did our best to avoid the hordes of tourists who made it difficult to even see the popular sites. Still, we managed to take a lot of pictures and worm our way through the crowds to more isolated areas. We tried to follow some signs that said “Ancient Painted Rocks,” and even though we followed the whole path through, we never saw the painted rocks.
After that we followed signs that said “Eternal Mushroom,” and while we were walking the group shrunk a little further to just Lewis, Sinead, and me. Lewis began to whistle and sing Disney songs which he knew quite well. He is also a fantastic whistler, so it was a lot of fun listening to him. He also babbled a lot and we, including Lewis, concluded that he was delirious. We joined up with Jordan and Carolyn and walked a long way until finally finding the Eternal Mushroom, which in fact were five
Famous Fish Dish
I forgot the name of it unfortunately.
pillars of rocks with mushroom heads.
On our way back, we saw different rocks like the “Mother and Son,” which really did look like a son following his mother. We also saw a rock that looked like a mother holding her baby. We were really worried about making it back to the entrance in time since we were so far away, but we managed to make it back just before 4pm, which was when we were supposed to be there. The other groups trickled in and we left around 4:30pm. Apparently one of the groups, containing Peter and Kat, climbed a lot of the rocks and received scratches all over their hands and legs. However they got awesome pictures. I do not think I would have been able to climb like they did, knowing my fear of heights. The rocks they climbed on were at least several stories high, too.
All in all, it was a fun trip, except for the horrendous traffic on the way back. Seriously, I watched as little girl in a pink tutu princess outfit skip faster than we were moving. Sigh.
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