We started our day with a sad little breakfast of dry muesli. We had no yogurt, milk, jam, juice, or anything to spice it up. Our food supply lately has been very feast or famine. On the docket for today was to find a grocery store to stock up on food, a gas station to re-fill our MSR fuel bottle, and to make it to Luzern. In a normal world this agenda for the day would be ridiculously easy to accomplish. It would probably take two hours to complete at the very most! In our world covering 70km with two stops could easily be an all day affair.
Leaving camp we cycled along a beautiful bike path enjoying the cool morning, not too worried about the fact that we had no lunch. Early in the afternoon, we still hadn't passed a grocery store. The only foods we had were staples like dry pasta, a bag of onions, raw potatoes, a can of beans, and our "emergency" packets of ramen. All of these needed to be cooked with fuel we didn't have. When we passed a McDonalds we decided to ditch our plan entirely, opting to spend several hours posting journals, working and Skyping with family, confident we'd find a grocery store just a little further into town.
Sitting in front of a computer to get things done is a lot easier than sitting on a bicycle to do the same. As we cycled away, hunger hit us instantly. In retrospect it probably would have been prudent to eat something there but neither of us likes fast food! Within a matter of minutes I became extremely irritable. We made a rule a long time ago that if you are upset you no longer get a say in any decision-making. Tara immediately took the helm and decided we should quickly find some fuel and follow a campsite sign we'd seen, calling it a day.
The remaining 5km were uphill and in my deliriously hungry state I decided they were the worst 5km of my life. It is absolutely stunning what a lack of food can do to your mood when serious physical labor is required. Seeing that I was lagging behind, Tara pulled over by the side of the road and fed me a granola bar she found in the bottom of her handle bar bag and a package of dry ramen noodles. While we ate we jumped around like lunatics swatting at biting flies.
Feeling a bit more sane we carried on, though I was still dragging. Just before we reached the campsite Tara stopped and pointed at a woodpile on the side of the road. There, on the ground next to it, was a red gas can. We quickly refilled our fuel bottle and left some change, thankful that we would be able to cook dinner. When we made it to camp we collapsed in a great heap on a secluded grassy field where we would make our home for the night.
As I slowly put up the tent, Tara got to work making dinner. Somehow, armed with very few ingredients, she managed to make a delicious garlicy potato & white bean soup. While the soup was simmering away, Tara gave me a much needed haircut so I'd feel a little less like a savage. We took showers after dinner, washing away our fruitless day, and came back to a long evening of watching Lost. Hopefully we'll actually get something accomplished tomorrow!