recipe for adventure

vietnam trafficLast week in Express our win-a-trip competition asked readers to tell us their recipe for adventure or favourite food and travel tales. There were so many great tastebud-teasing entries but eventually our judges narrowed it down to just one – Aimee Murphy has won a place on Roam China, departing Beijing on 26 November 2008!…

“The humidity hits us as we grab our backpacks and try to work out how , after our red-eye flight, we are to get to our hotel. It’s Ho Chi Minh so it means a rusted car, driving on the wrong side of the road, ignoring red lights, what seat belts?, pedal to the metal and did I mention ‘Son’ our driver was also talented enough to talk at his mobile and smoke a cigarette while breaking every road rule we knew.

We arrive at a very swanky five-star establishment – the first we have ever stayed in for we thought with the prices so reasonable in Vietnam it would be our only opportunity to experience such luxury. Bleary-eyed and hungry and with the motorcycles now turning on their lights as night approaches, we go out to ‘hunt down some local fare’ and hopefully not get hit at the so-called pedestrian crossings in the process.

Around the corner is an array of child-sized plastic stools and a street vendor selling amazing rice paper rolls with chilli and soy dipping sauce. Tummies full after our meal costing the equivalent of 25 cents, we waltz in the livery-opened doors of the hotel, past numerous restaurants and chuckle to ourselves in the lift…we may have experienced the five stars but you can’t take the adventure for the local experiences from an intrepid traveller!”

Here are some other entries that we thought were also great recipes for adventure…

“My favourite food moment turned into a half-a-day extended moment when I ‘discovered’ Peck’s in Milano, Italy. With several macchiato boosters from their coffee bar I went sight-seeing around the thousands of cheeses and meats and preserves on display for more than 2 hours. I still think about all the amazing products to choose from even now.” Danyel Simich

“As if a trek through the Annapurna villages and valleys of Nepal in the rhododendron season with an out-of-season fall of pristine snow wasn’t breath-taking enough, the unexpected highlight of delicious pumpkin soup cooked mid-trek, by an elderly Nepalese farmer on a single burner stove, using a pumpkin plucked from his own nearby rooftop, and eaten with a view of the encircling snow-covered mountains, was an experience and a taste never to be forgotten.” Marilyn Platek

and finally food for thought….

400 gr self control
1 dash of frugality
200 gr patience
1 nest egg
300 gr self rising knowledge
1 tsp forethought
1 tblsp courage

Liberally apply self control and patience to all aspects of your life. Sprinkle frugally over grocery shopping, clothes, and entertainment.
Beat the nest egg until double in volume.
Apply self rising knowledge, forethought and courage when making decisions.

Bon appetit.
Betty Lewis

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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