Saturday, 6 November 2010

Xi'an to Chengdu

It’s a long drive through yet more stunning scenery - The day follows our usual pattern….Check the oil, warm the engine up, hit the road, re-fuel, eat pot noodle lunch in the garage, check the oil, hit the road, re-fuel, arrive at destination.

Part of the way along our route we spot an elderly lady selling caged birds at the side of a mountain pass. The traffic is slow, so I decide to pull over and check them out - The birds are great, red feathers with bright yellow beaks, but they don’t appear to be too happy.

Serena thinks I’m completely crazy when I ask her to check with the vendor if I can buy one and set it free (Its good luck!) She asks and the answer is yes, the lady presents me with a cage and I’m asked to pick a bird. There’s three in there, I couldn’t pick one to set free and leave the others in the cage, so we strike a deal for all three.
The old lady plucks them from the cage and throws them in a plastic carrier bag. We wander over to the edge of the road, Bex sets the bag down on a rock and we watch the birds fly off into the sunset. Hopefully that will give us some good luck further down the line…

Exactly 780km later we arrive in the provincial capital of Chengdu. Its been a running joke ever since we arrived in China that some of the most popular dishes are pigs trotter, chickens feet, neck of duck, chopped up frog and pigs ear. We pledge to sample each and every one of these before we leave, but our time in China is slipping away so we try trotter for dinner. Interesting….but not recommended!

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