From the blog title it’s probably easy to guess that food is important to the touring cyclist, especially when that cyclist is Philippa. Therefore, rather than talk about the roads or the views, although there’ll be a bit of that, I thought I’d spend the most of this blog doing a food diary for today (Friday) so you can get an idea of what we end up eating on a daily basis. Some things change each day, but some things we end up eating are pretty standard.
Breakfast today was the standard porridge and tea. As there are microwaves at a lot of the campsites we can just soak the oats overnight, using dried milk (it doesn’t go off!) and then blast it in the morning. To make it more palatable for Philippa we’ve been adding canned peaches, but on Wednesday we bought a jar of strawberry jam because it’s the same weight as a can and will last for more than one day. Today was the first time with porridge + jam. We don’t have a tea pot, but our little Primus pot works just as well. More dried milk, naturally.
We set off this morning knowing we’d hit our first supermarket since Te Araroa that I visited when we were hiding from the rain. Oh wow! However, we didn’t actually need very much as we’ll hit more supermarkets over the next few days. Walking around New World made us both hungry, so we got a reduced to clear $3 (~£1.40) cheese & pesto bread and had some of that before setting off again. After 35 km we found our first water spring of the trip. We’ve been surprised that considering it’s so hot in NZ that there aren’t any water taps in the towns and villages we’ve been passing through. We couldn’t cycle past this one, even if the weather is now cooler. And more cheese & pesto bread to keep us going.
Riding through Ohope Beach we discovered someone selling avocadoes for $1 (45 pence) each. We had just paid about $3 for one in the supermarket, so stopped to get another couple for later in the week! We had lunch only 15 km before the end of the day because we wanted to get the really hard climb (sea level up to about 120 m within 1.5 km) done before we stopped. We found a nice grassy lawn with shade to eat the rest of the cheese & pesto bread with tuna, a honey & mustard dressing, cucumber and an apple. We’ve been carrying the tuna since Te Araroa.
The final 15 km of today were horrible. Getting through Whakatane was bad due to the traffic, SH30 was really busy and then the road to Thornton had far too many cars going way too quickly. We passed The Blueberry Corner who advertised ice cream. We stopped just as an excuse to get off the road for a bit. Those are small ice creams at $3 (~£1.40). The large ones, which were $5 (~£2.30), looked so massive even I would have struggled to finish one.
Whilst riding through East Cape we didn’t have many supermarkets. We’ve been living off 500 gram pack of couscous because we’d discovered it would do us for four dinners, whereas 500 grams of pasta is only good enough for two dinners. We still had some left, which meant more couscous for dinner, with onion & aubergine fried up and mixed with a pesto dip. Philippa made a tomato and avocado salad and we were both very full. But there was still room for half of the reduced to clear apple cake we’d bought in the supermarket. So there’s our food diary for one day. Our oats are soaking for tomorrow morning and the other half of the apple cake will get eaten on the road tomorrow as we head up to Rotorua.
PS: We’ve just been emailed by Steve, a Kiwi, who asks “Please say that you’ve tried a custard square?”. We have not and I cannot believe we’ve been here for nearly two months and this is the first I’ve heard about custard squares. They sound amazing. I want one, now. It’ll help my sleep, I’m sure. Well I know what I’m doing tomorrow.