Cooking on the trail – failing 101, twice! – 16 May

To be posted when signal.

I planned to go into Atkins to shop but the Indian manager of Relax Inn πŸ˜€ – not sure if she is the owner – said somebody would take me into town (5km away) for $20. That’s day light robbery: R300!!! I wasn’t going to bargain and didn’t feel like hitch hiking so bought 4 days’ food at the gas station. They must be catering for hikers as there were many options (though no cheese!), some of which I haven’t tried beforec- like pickled sausages and ham sticks.

We had breakfast at The Barn before we set off for the day. I really enjoyed today’s walk as quite a big part of it (maybe 25%) was not inside the green tunnel. We were on farmers’ land quite a bit and had to climb these steps maybe 5 times during the day:

Today we finished our 6th week on the trail and also went through the quarter way mark.

At a road crossing there was a sign to Quarterway hostel (half a km off the route). I suggested to Trevor that we pop in for a cold drink (best use of time πŸ˜€) and we saw a hostel like no other. Tina, the owner, has a lovely house. She asks you to take off your boots and then invites you into her house. You can buy cold drinks or snacks but everything is in her kitchen, you can use the loo in her house. It’s lovely, about 8943 times better than the Relax Inn.

After a bit of a break we went back onto the trail. When we reached our overnight spot Trevor pitched the tent while I started cooking.

On the menu was the standard Ramen Noodles (we just alter the protein we add to the noodles for some variation) with pickled sausages and hot peanuts (our friends Sue and Parks taught us to add peanuts to the meal in the early days on the trail: it adds taste, texture and nutrition to the noodle mix).

I had the noodles cooked, the sausage sliced up and stirred in and was just about to add the peanuts when I knocked the pot of the gas stove. Food all over the bed of dried leaves. I said some words that can’t be quoted here.

This accident left us with 2 problems. The obvious one is that we are now short on a meal – remember I buy the exact amount of food needed to get us to the next town visit. The other issue is that we now need to get rid of the food, you can’t just leave it like that: the smell can attract all sorts of animals you don’t want around your camp.

Trevor wasn’t mad, he was calm and helpful. I picked up all the slices of pickled sausage (and curse myself for having sliced it in such neat little cubes), and rinsed it off with clean water (luckily we are camping next to a creek so at least we have lots of water) while Trevor used the poop scoop (what you use to dig a hole when you need a hole) to bury the noodles away from our tent.

I got out more raw noodles (we will have to make a plan for buying something from somewhere as we now need to use another night’s noodles) and Trevor came to sit where I was cooking. He suggested that in future he holds the handle of the pot while I cook, as it is actually a tiny stove the pot stands on and accidents like I had can really happen easily.

He wasn’t critical or judgemental, he had a good point so I said I think that is a great idea. We got the new set of noodles in the pot, bringing the water to boil while Trevor was holding the handle. And then (I’m sure you know what is coming…) – he did something, I’m not sure whether he was waving away a bug or scratching his ear or what he was doing but yes: he knocked over the pot and our second batch of noodles scattered all over the bed of dried leaves.

This time (as the noodles were still quite uncooked) we just picked up the bigger chunks of raw noodles (and put rocks on top of the pieces we didn’t pick up) put it in the pot and tried for a third time.

What can you do other than laugh. So we laughed. And laughed some more.

5 thoughts on “Cooking on the trail – failing 101, twice! – 16 May

  1. I’m chuckling while I read this, but only because I’m not there! If I’d been there, there would have been crying, and shouting, and fighting! But I guess after 6 weeks on the trail (well done on that milestone!), life looks a little different.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I once knocked a pot of toppers (vegetarian mince replacement) over the floor of the Andre Hut on the Otter trail, the last hut from the end. Being a wooden floor, it was easy to scrape it back up into the pot and eat it! Hope you find some more food on the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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