My sister, Erika, and I started our time in New Zealand on bikes.
She pulled a small trailer that held our back packs, named Thing 1 and Thing 2, and I had our tent and sleeping bags on the back rack as well as our groceries and kitchen equipment in panniers. We had to play with the system a little to find the right set up but it was pretty ingenious.
We had one burner and one pot and the only setting we could get the burner to work at was basically full steam. We learned pretty quickly to create one pot meals, things that could boil and cook quickly at approximately the same time. It wasn’t what I would call a great system, but it kept us fed and mostly entertained (though cleaning the char off the bottom of the pot on a regular basis wasn’t our favorite!). Porridge became a morning ritual, rice worked well, stews worked out sometimes, and occasionally we had something completely in edible that had burned or used all the bits left in our panniers.
I’ve never been a big exerciser and finding different snacks and meals that kept you going on long bike rides was a new experience. We learned to appreciate the incredible, edible egg and it’s hard boiled state. A self contained snack that could be cooked in a single pot at a boil, needed little adornment, could fuel you between meals, and needed no refrigeration after being boiled. I’ve eaten hard boiled eggs on the side of the road in some very interesting settings and each one has some pretty good memories attached to it.
One of our first day, stopping to rest every fifteen minutes (I was sure I wasn’t going to make it and we needed to sell our bikes and get out while we still could move), we stopped on a grassy bank with cows behind us and the sun shining and Erika was so excited and delighted- bless her- and we ate eggs and English muffins. Or when we were coming down the pass that had nearly done me in as we peddled in the rain, but it was the next day and we were going down hill and the rain had passed and I loved life a lot more than I had the day before- we ended up meeting one of our favorite families and having one of our favorite adventures of the trip- sheering sheep after our snack of eggs and chips.
The trip continued, we were joined by a cousin and moved on from our bikes to a car and from New Zealand to Australia, the single pot continued on with us making for many more boiled concoctions and the hard boiled eggs continued as our easiest and cheapest form of snack and sustenance.
I fought Erika every step of the way where those bikes were concerned yet it’s my favorite part of our trip when I think back on it. My sister and I pushing ourselves to new limits and seeing back corners and small roads of one of the most beautiful and incredibly friendly countries I have ever been to.