A morning stroll through the village afforded more new experiences – a picturesque village with wooden buildings, water lilly ponds, and fresh food markets – freshly butchered meat surrounded by flies. After a walk up a hill for making of natural photograph it was back in the car with the exact same harrowing experience but in reverse. I only wish I had taken photos of the roadworks to illustrate the point. To save my spine I regularly asked the driver to stop for icey cold pijiu. Adfter many rivers, rice paddies and spectacular views we were back in San Jiang for another lunch experience with Steve and his dodgy, stereotype looking business partners. Walking into the now familiar restaurant we walked past a curious bamboo plate balancing on the fish tank, I got in for a closer look. Someone had extracted a bee hive cut it open and jiggling within was about 1000 bee larvae squirming in the their honeycomb confines – complete with Queen bee attending to her babies. Noticing our curiosity we were pounced on asked if we’d like to try. Mmmmm, no thanks. Anywho, food time again – Lamb Hotpot (Lamb Soup), Sour Beans with Chilli, Steamed Catfish, Baby Water Buffalo with greens and garlic.
Our next leg of the journey was from San Jiang back to Guilin. The road improved, but the four 4hr trip was broken by a wander around a small town with a wind rain bridge (there are many in Dong towns), and a visit to the school for a toilet break. It was the worst toilet Tory had seen so far. Eight hip height cubicles with a central trough into which all matter flows. And as this was the end of the summer holidays, not much flow, but plenty of sit around in the sun. Mmmm. The next toilet stop at a petrol station (did we mention the beef we had yesterday? – made for many trips to local toilet facilities) was the second worst – mens and ladies toilets adjoined, such that all had to squat over a central trough, and watch anyone else’s business wash by. Soiled business dispeneries were placed in open bucket next to you. Charlie found it all a bit much.
Dinner was not very appealing that night, back at the restaurant in Guilin, As a treat, Steve had arranged river turtle for us – again, gutted and cleavered; feet, toes, lips, gullet and all, and shell to suck on. I was very brave and tasted it, but really, frogs and turtles remain somewhat slimy even after cooking, when they are served with skin on. Duck soup, wild rabbit hotpot, lipu taro (local root vegetable) with smoked pork belly and greens rounded out the meal. Getting a little tired of picking out bones with every bite – eating more vegies now 🙂 We finished the day with a walk around the night markets – every bit as tacky as night markets anywhere.