Thursday, May 7, 2009

Songpan Horse Trek part 7 Food

Inside the cookhouse all hands pitch in frying up a batch of morning yóu tiáo 油条 (deep-fried dough/breadstick, a kind of Chinese dounut that you can dip in sugar or just eat the way it is). The food is included in the cost of the trek. It is tasty, abundant but very simple and can be perceived as quite monotonous by some picky foreigners: potatoes, pumpkin, rice, tomatoes in sugar, cucumber and squash, dry tofu (dòufu gan) in a tasty broth (yum!), breadsticks, horse tea (see below), Songpan bread etc is pretty much it. There is no meat included in the price. You can order a goat to roast but this costs about 600 yuan per goat. 

I did this trek the first time a little over 20 years ago and the food hasn't changed or improved one iota since then - this is one of the things that most foreigners complain about during the trek. So if you are a stickler for meat or good munchies and are heading out for several days (like up to the Ice Mountain Lake) bring extra delicacies from Songpan or Chengdu (where you can buy just about any delicacy under the sun). Songpan is famous for its various dried and cured meats, these can be easily transported in plastic bags and eaten with bread. 
Boiling up water for tea, hot chocolate and coffee on Day 1. 
Mr Booz has to have his morning tea, horse tea isn't good enough, has to be Lipton's!
Day 2 Burton spent too much time close to the fire last night roasting marshmallows and has swollen eyes (or maybe he just woke up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag this morning). He's hugging our huge box of trail mix/gorp.  
Maya L warming her hands with a mug of hot chocolate. 
Potato and pumpkin stew, yummy but not to the taste of the kids unfortunately. They preferred dough sticks dipped in sugar or whatever goodies their parents had stashed away for them from Chengdu. 
Even horses have to eat! Mush is served out of cut off basketballs that can be tied to their bridles. Whatever we and the horsemen hadn't finished for our meals they ate mixed with chewy broadbeans. 

All photos ©Ingrid Booz Morejohn


  1. 那个吃的是土豆吗?
    nàɡè chī de shì tǔ dòu ma?

  2. Di liuge de zhaopian shi yi da wan tudou he nangua, zhenda hao chi!