Well, today was the Great Wall day. We left at 7:00 this morning and what do you know! Esther and Ashley came out of their hole. Maybe they'll be a little more adventurous now. We were 12 in the bus. Peter and me, Ken and Sue, Esther and Ashley, our three helpers, Ruth, Liu and her husband. They're the ones who's daughter is getting married next weekend.
We were on the bus for four hours getting there because of a fog delay on the main road. We were diverted to the secondary roads. It was interesting to go through all the little towns. You never know what you might see.
When we got there there was a steep rocky hill that led to further stairs up to the wall. Peter (with a rest along the way) and the others made it up that first hill but there was no way they could go any further. I told Wong that we had been on the Great Wall before anyway, so why didn't he go up instead. He jumped at the chance and went up with Chau, Kens helper. I don't think they had ever been on it before because they both bought a T-shirt that said "I Climbed the Great Wall of China (in English). We got them for Peter and Ken too and they'll all wear them out to dinner tomorrow.
The best part was lunch. Ruth chose a beautiful spot on a lake. Across the clear water were rolling hills with the Great Wall running along the crest of it. How charming. Then we saw the building. At first we thought it was someone's house because it was surrounded by fruit trees and dense foliage. We saw an open (torn) screened building with a young woman bending over a bowl in front of it. When we looked closer, we saw that she was PLUCKING A CHICKEN! The head was hanging to the side. Wait, it gets better. There was squawking in the lower driveway and there was a guy with a cleaver chasing another chicken. I'm not kidding. I couldn't watch but I think we had that chicken for lunch about a half hour later. The cooking apparatus was all outside in the yard. A sort of makeshift grill with a big wok in it and something that looked like a smoker. That's it. The open pavilion and the cooking stuff outside. When we sat down, they went into the yard and came back with a big pear for everyone, hard as a rock. That was our starter. Then dish after dish came out. Egg dishes, mushroom dishes, a big fish that was in the wok when we arrived and a big platter of tiny little fish LOOKING AT US. You're supposed to eat the whole thing but, no way Jose. We didn't. Then, the chickens were served in a big bowl. A disgusting foot with a big toenail sticking right out of it. Are they serious? Glad we had eaten a lot of the noodle and egg dishes. They weren't gross. I know they were doing their best, and the food certainly was fresh but killing it in front of you? Really?