Setting off at silly o'clock and after a few precious hours sleep, we grabbed a beer from Olaf's to wash down our breakfast. After driving in a four-car convoy, led by William in a convertible white Porsche Boxster, for an hour - we reached our destination.
Zhu Shan Hu is a lake-side resort - on the road from Changzhou to Wuxi, by lake Tai (Tai Hu) - shadowed by mountains and housing a BBQ area and a hotel with some pretty cool amenities. We found a spot close to the water and made some space for the BBQ (shao kao) action. Swerving any responsibility for the cooking, as per usual, I played footy with starry-eyed children in the sunshine.
After the food we headed straight for the paddle boats. Docking up at a secluded island, naturally we set foot on the idyllic little hide-out - completely ignoring the do not enter signs dotted around... a speed boat came racing over and we scurried off to the next available island. This one didn't have any threatening no entry signs so we stopped off for a quick toilet break. After that our four boats linked arms, human arms that is, and we amused ourselves doing simultaneous doughnuts in the water.
Once we disembarked we went on the hunt for some four-seater bicycles.. Getting our hands on them we presumed four times the legs would equal four times the power. Not so. These bad boys were heavy and slow and we giggled like school girls trying to go up the slightest slope.
Feeling pretty wiped out after our hours of exercise, we jumped in the car and stopped randomly at an orange-tree plantation. With an all-you-eat oranges policy inside the place, we filled ourselves with the freshest oranges we'd ever eaten. Walking past a local selling tiny fried sardine-flavoured fish we grabbed a few bags to stock up on our Omega 3 too.
With a few of the guys opting for a spot of fishing, the rest of played keepy-uppies football until nightfall. As the sun fell behind the mountains, turning the sky a mix of purple and red, the Europeans amongst us felt pretty frazzled from the cocktail of excessive sunshine, booze and hours of sweating it out by boat, bike, ball and er, fish. This was another incredible journey, with some incredible people, and another highlight of my time here in China so far. Follow this link for the full Wuxi Photo Gallery.