The most memorable foods along the way on a 6 month trip. Mainly by bike (-) & mainly powered by noodles.
Set off, the realise they drive on the left. Adjust mirror to other side, set off again.
Typical food here is noodle soup. It's brilliant and has slight variations, sometimes with starchy dumplings - good for the cycling legs.
Sa-bai-deeeee (hello!). Staple food was again noodle soup, but we didn't get bored of it. Small family restaurants by the dusty roads served us hot bowls of much needed brothy water packed with noodles and stuff that kept us well satisfied, hydrated and fuelled.
Aside from more food choice, sometimes getting a bit touristy, I get hooked on their strong coffee with condensed milk - fantastic!
Up 'til now we have managed by eating in road side restaurants, but getting into the remoter mountains, we are cooking for ourselves. Sachet noodles fill our panniers and we quickly learn the flavours by colour of packet and the limited varieties
Up the valley and then a steep cliimb up to the UNESCO World Heritage hotspot that is Honghe Hani Rice Terraces. Rice!
Spicy stuff. We learn that the black packet of sachet noodles with pictures of flames are to be taken seriously. On a windy night in a barren landscape we fail to pitch the tent on a rocky area sandwiched between road and river. These noodles are our last hope, but they burn our lips with firey spice fresh from hell, so we pack up and keep cycling.
Sometimes in China the map showed the pass but when we arrived, some mega tunnels took us under the peak instead.
The most impressive piece of road was a spiral that looped up in a 360 spiral up (yet another) steep valley.
The coldest pass at 4700 was powered with help from a local tunnel builder in his metal portacabin. He invited us in and fed us boiled eggs after finding us shielding behind a wall from the blizzard.
Mainly due to a tumble off the bike causing a few days in hospital, we take a bus to Lanzhou. There, we began to tuck into the Ramen hand-pulled noodles. The texture and flavour is delicious, and we wonder how such a simple soup is so good.
Unable to really understand which dishes I ordered, I try various styles and types of meat and broth.
We skip a few thousand bleak KM's on the sleeper train. As we trundle West through the desert I practise my sunflower seed tooth-shelling skills.
Pedalling through villages, we sniff the delicious breads and BBQ'd meat kebabs being served by the road.
We didn't realise that we had to take a taxi up to the end of this road having already been followed by local police. We feel the huge contrasts as we stepped into the ex-Soviet region. The standard of packet noodle declined and the menus left behind noodles in favour of breads, beer & vodka!
Invited in from torrential rain to stay with a family, we are fed generously. Thanks to the family cow my dairy deficiency is fixed at breakfast with hot milk, milky tea, cream and butter with bread.
Other than this, are staple diet is noodles and limited veggies, pasta, eggs, etc
The last few miles on the bike are accompanied by a stray dog who befriends us. Unfortunately we don't manage to take him home, but I do have a pasta-eating race with him.
In Dushanbe, we fill up on a range of foods including pizza and burger, topped off with a fantastic Lebanese feast.