Saturday, 7 June 2008

The Easy Riders

This is not so much about great food, but more about sharing food with good people on a good day. It's about the moment, the place, the time. 

We were in Dalat, a small hill station in the Central Highlands. It's a nice quiet town with loads of old French colonial buildings. The respite from the heat of the plains below, makes it a welcoming place. It's about 1500 metres above sea level, so a wider assortment of fruit n veg can be grown here, as we saw in the central market. Which probably made it more attractive to the French. It really made me wish that we had a kitchen, so I could buy a few ingredients and cook a little. 

Many years ago, a few locals got together and decided to become tour guides with a difference. They would do tours on their motorbikes of the local area and beyond if you wanted. They called themselves The Easy Riders. Obviously they had just been watching the said film. So, many years later there are now about 80 of them, touring the local area and taking people as far away as Hanoi. 

The one day tour we did, took us to a silk worm farm and factory, coffee & tea plantations, flower farms, and some local sights like the elephant waterfalls. I could not see the elephant. All with full explanations from either Son or Mr Ho.

It's really amazing how the land around Dalat, reminded us of the area around where we have our land outside Medellin. The scenery was identical. Pine trees as far as the eye could see. That hint of pine in the air took me right back to our land. Even the temperature and the heat of the sun took me back there. This made us both feel very excited for our future in Colombia.

After a hard morning of sight seeing we stopped at a small place, overlooking a fish pond and miles of fields. It was so peaceful. Son had phoned ahead to get a set menu ready for us when we arrived. 

The table was covered with small plates of food. Sesame pork, crispy fish, stir fried vegetables, chicken, noodles, spring rolls, soup and rice. It was a feast. We all shared the food. Taking a bit off a plate at a time and eating it, then going back for more off a different plate. 

We all chatted whilst we ate, telling a few stories and jokes. Some more funnier than others. 

It was a great day and the food just made it better. Sometimes the food does not have to be perfect to be great. It's all about the time, the place, the company. This was a perfect meal on a perfect day. It's one day I will never forget. 

If any of you go to Dalat, do the Easy Rider tour, and I hope you will enjoy as much as we did. 

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