Today’s adventure was to explore the surrounds of Inle Lake. So we jumped on our bikes from Thu Thu rental, a wallet breaking $1.50 each for the day.
We weaved our way thru the local traffic & roads (maps are of little use as no roads are marked in English). Following a vague sense of direction northward we find ourselves being invited into the local sugar refinery. The women hack away in the cane fields in the heat of the day whilst the men strip the cane, mulch, purify & crystallise it. A fabulous example of sustainability … Everything used & pretty much everything natural & handmade.
We push on in the heat (a mere 38c). Imagine our delight when we run into Red Mountain winery. I’ve never seen Gaye cycle up a hill so fast! We found a spot of shade & indulged in 4 samples for $2.
I was little premature with our excitement … the wine was a tad sharp & caustic. The glimmer of hope was the Sav Blanc … similar to a cleanskin back home (white labelled non branded wines).
Back in the saddle & we seek out the little oasis known as ‘The Bamboo Hut’ (5kms south of Nyaungshwe.) A true hidden gem that has an excellent rating on TripAdvisor. First impressions don’t disappoint … A gorgeous bamboo terrace overlooking their own produce patch. We were surprised to discover everything is cooked straight from the garden to you!
After you order you see them gathering all the fresh fruit, herbs, spices & vegies. In the meantime we cooled down with a zesty lime soda & an icy cold beer. Served with snacks of freshly roasted peanuts & yellow bean crisps … Oh so yummy (and complimentary)
As a free appetiser we were given ginger & red bean soup …amazing … I want the recipe for that! Then our meals arrived … Spectacular. We had tempura vegetables, chicken curry & avocado salad … to die for! Then to finish off we were given fresh fruit picked straight from the garden! It was exceptional food experience & the family were super friendly plus it only cost us A$16 … truly amazing, especially with all the gratuitous dishes … such generosity!
Feeling happy & satisfied we ride the last 5kms headlong into the sun. Feeling like scorched almonds we find a foot of shade & guzzle an icy cold coke … You need the sugar in this heat. We’d finally reached our afternoon destination … the village of Nyaungshwe on the shores of the Lake Inle.
We weren’t disappointed. A long jetty runs you along the shallow canal leading you to the lake. Here you can load your bikes into a dugout & get ferried across the lake & do a full circuit back to town or you can go back the same way.
We sat for a while drinking in the busyness around us …
– growers weeding their floating (yes floating) gardens by dugout
– school pick up by long tail boat
– spruikers trying to fill their boats with locals or the occasional tourist that wandered by
It’s always entertaining to people watch especially as a foreigner!