Saturday, 27 December 2014

Bike touring Myanmar

Bike touring Myanmar, or at least the open areas of the country, is a total win. Great people, food, weather and terrain. 

I'll bike tour in a Bhuddist country any day. People are happy and peaceful. They are like that on the roads, in restaurants, in hotels, and amongst themselves. They treat animals well. Our driver is so peaceful it hurts at times, so patient and courteous. I'm not aware of much Bhuddist self promotion, but they are the rightful owners of the "religion of peace" slogan in my books. 

We've been in the agriculturally rich areas. I haven't seen refrigeration yet, but I presume it exists as beers are cold in at least some places. But produce goes from soil to plate in under a day, and only minutes at times. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilis, soy, more beans than I can identify, corn, carrots, cabbage, leafy salad bases like gourd leaves and tamarind leaves grow. Rice of course, many different varieties. Melons, limes, avocados, strawberries, coconuts, dragon fruit, tamarind, papaya, all grow easily. Fish, pork, beef, chicken is on every menu. Cindy got one night of bad food, I ended up being fine. Flavours are amazing, they don't to bland. Animals tend to be skinny, but I think it's not for lack of food or withholding food from them - I think they stay thin because of/ to deal with heat. It's hot and we're here at coldest time of year.  

The weather in the "winter" is lovely. Not a drop of rain. Maybe 15-25 day low/hi at lower elevations and take 5 degrees off that when we were up high. People wear puffy jackets, toques, and suggest we dress warmly to be cautious. We followed that a few mornings then realized we should just leave our jackets as we take them off in 10 minutes and carry them all day. 

The terrain was varied, which made it interesting. Mountains, jungles, arid areas, flats. No real wind. Not many bugs at all. 

Bike touring on a tandem is awesome. People love it. It brings smiles to so many faces besides our own. We never split up. It's quite a workout. We got in just short of 600km. With heat, growing body weight, and a pregnant wife, we'll just say there was more than ample opportunity to work hard. I feel like I built torque and base fitness, it's not really power you build. Cindy has extremes. Extremely hot or cold, hungry or full, buzzing with energy or passed out sleeping. It's actually pretty comical. But on seperate bikes it just wouldn't really work. I'm surprised at how much she did want to do each day.  She says she gave me the gift I've always wanted by being weight on the back - more training. "I might be a sack of potatoes Bakke, but I'm your favourite sack of potatoes."

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