Mountain Climbing and Strawberry Mishaps

Have you ever had a day that went from really great to really bad in the blink of an eye? Well that was the story of my life a couple of weeks ago when a large group of us foreigners trekked out to Maofeng Mountain on the outskirts of Guangzhou for some fresh air before hitting a local strawberry patch for a super-fresh seasonal treat.

The hike around Maofeng Mountain was somewhat difficult (for a 5 month pregnant gal that is) but incredibly invigorating, especially given the crisp, clean air that met us just outside the city. We hiked for a couple of hours before finally reaching the top, catching an expansive, if somewhat overcast view of life outside the concrete jungle.

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I should mention the term “hiking” is used somewhat loosely here. When you and I think of hiking, images of dirt trails, hiking boots and backpacks likely come to mind. But in China, it seems that in an effort to accommodate the high heels, Chuck Taylors and other odd, inappropriate-for-walking-hours-outdoors attire, they pave, tile and step every possible trail in a park, no matter how steep the climb. This leads to torturously long stairmaster workouts like the one below…

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So long I wondered if we had stumbled upon the Stairway to Heaven

After the hike and a well-deserved lunch, we traipsed over to a local strawberry patch where I felt like I picked my weight in strawberries (perhaps this was the ever-powerful pregnancy food eye getting the best of me). Unfortunately the food eye does not distinguish between safe-to-eat food and the puke-your-brains-out-to-the-point-of-going-to-the-hospital-for-an-IV-drip kind of delicacies, because that’s exactly what I had coming for me after consuming a few of these unassuming red devils. No one else seemed to have contracted a severe case of food poisoning, so I chalk it up to a weird pregnancy interaction with whatever was used to grow them (I cringe at the thought of just what that could be). But no worries, I recovered in a couple of days, and the babe took it like a champ and didn’t even realize anything was wrong.

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My spoils, literally and figuratively
My spoils, literally and figuratively
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