LIVE TO EAT
Every fortnight walesonline Weekend Magazine you can read all about our life-changing roadtrip across the USA as we reveal the people, places and recipes behind the hangfirebbq journey.
Chapter 3: In the midnight hour, she cried S’mores, S’mores, S’mores!
Having traversed the wild West National Parks of Nevada, Arizona and Utah, it was time to return to California as we still had much to see and before we left for the Deep South. We headed to Northern California, skimming the Oregon borders and dropped down into redwoodnps We wanted to see some of the tallest trees in the world. Arriving at the park, we felt positively Lilliputian; you could barely see the top of the trees.
When you’re driving yourself around a country, you are your own boss, mistress of your own destiny. Therefore, if you want to stop in little ‘one-horse’ towns, you can, and we would definitely encourage you to do so. Our budget was super tight, we often shared a meal when we ate under the stars. We really wanted something sweet and savoury one night and found just the recipe in our new little camp fire cook book. We wanted S’mores. Ordinarily, S’mores are simply biscuits, chocolate and marshmallows, wrapped in foil packets and cooked in the embers of a camp fire until gooey. We picked up some basic supplies from the little grocery store that we bought the pastrami sandwich from and headed back to camp, that’s after having a quick lesson from the grocery store owner about the differences between cookies, biscuits and crackers (all three are worlds apart in the US!)
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UNBELIEVABLE DISCOVERY! When I was about 7 years old my explorer parents decided it was time to trek through the tallest mountains on earth - the Himalayas. After weeks of walking 10 miles days, we met a young guy (about 20 yrs old?) in a very very remote village named Dorjay and I discovered the incredible option of riding a horse! Dorjay accompanied us on all of our Indian Himalayan adventures, leading me through wild terrain and teaching me how to make the best chapati bread! One day, when I told him I was sad because I never could play with kids my own age, he took out a rope, summoned nearby village kids, and we held the first high altitude Himalayan Tug-of-war game AND jump rope! Dispite his humble roots, Dorjay had huge dreams of becoming a famous singer. He would belt out traditional tunes to get us through the toughest times and his smile was contagious - he became like a brother to me and his family became our family.
Flash forward to last year I was going down the rabbit hole of Facebook one day and I came across a page with an impressive amount of followers for a Ladakhi famous singer named Dojay Stakmo - it was him! There were photos of him traveling with the Dalai Lama and gracing huge billboards across the world - he even was on Spotify! My parents and I couldn’t believe our eyes and ears and after contacting him - one of the most heartfelt phone calls of our lives - we began to plan a trip back to the Himalayas to visit him and his family! And now we are here and this past couple weeks I got to live with Ladakhi celebrity Dorjay:)) - it was surreal! Every child, man, and yak in the mountains know and respect him! In a post to follow I will share his incredible voice! He has recorded hundreds of cultural songs to make sure they are not lost forever. We shared laughs, momos, tears, and even dressed up and danced for old times sake! Moral of the story - even if you live in the most remote place on earth, if you follow your passion, your biggest dreams can come true.