Day 28: Hunting and Gathering - Heidi Ho - CycleBlaze

July 8, 2012

Day 28: Hunting and Gathering

This is how the day's ride started...

So naturally, I found a cafe and this...

This is better than being out in the rain
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I sat in the cafe for a while, until it was clear I had only two choices. Sit there, or ride in the rain. So, I put on my rain jacket and rode.

About an hour later the heavy rain became a drizzle. Then the drizzle turned to cloudy skies. And a bit after that the sun started to peek through.

Maybe the weather gods saw I wasn't afraid of their stupid rain and gave up trying to discourage me. It's possible they gave me sun as a sign of respect? Of course, it could have just been high pressure.

Anyway, the rest of the day was nice riding, through farm country and small villages. There was some rollers, and a headwind that got stronger as the day went on, but at least the sun came out in the end.

The only issue today was food. I forgot about small town Sunday's here. Nothing is open and I didn't have much to eat. I had two choices. Ride to a city where there would be open stores or scrounge. I decided to scrounge.

I was lucky at lunch time. I found a little restaurant. Not only that, the special was rösti, which I've been wanting to try since I got here. It is supposed to be famous Swiss dish. What I discovered is that it's, basically, an egg, hash browns, and bacon. It was delicious, I'll grant you, and I was really hungry. Still, I thought there would be more too it.

This is rösti, which is nothing more than hash-browns, bacon, an egg and, I think some onions and other stuff like that. It wasn't the exotic dish I was expecting, but it sure hit the spot. As a side note. I hope you are impressed with the fact that I looked up how to put the umlauts over the "ö" in rösti? I'm a stickler for accuracy when it comes to umlauts.
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But, filled with my rösti, I set off again, looking for opportunities. I stopped at an "honor" stand (where you put your money in a box and take what you bought), where they had organic apple juice for sale where I bought a liter and a half.

Hunting and gathering enough food to survive the day. I knocked on the door. From the stuff outside it was clear at least one of the occupants was from Canada. I wasn't going to rub it in, that my Los Angeles Kings knocked off the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and went on to win the whole sha-bang in ice hockey. No, I wouldn't do that. I just wanted to say hi. But, no one answered. So sad.
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Later in the day I started getting desperate. So desperate that I stopped in a "back woods", small town restaurant. It was a test of my courage, to walk in where five locals were sitting at a table, drinking a beer, and when I walked in they all turned to me, stared and were dead silent.

"I don't suppose anyone speaks English?" I asked.

"Not much," they all said.

I spoke and mimed that I am out of food, and that, if they have any left, I would like to buy some bread. The woman disappeared in the back and came out with a huge loaf, that looked like whole wheat. She moved the knife back and forth until I nodded that is was the right amount. She cut off a large chunk and wrapped it in aluminum foil.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a box with snacks in little bags. I took two bags of peanuts.

"Fünf franks," she said.

The funny thing is, I knew what that meant--five franks. I do remember most of the numbers from 1 to 10 from my Grandmother. But one of the guys at the table said, "Five franks," in almost perfect English.

So, he did speak English. And the look on his face told me he could have been more helpful all along, but decided to keep his yap shut. I guess I was amusing him.

Still, I knew what fünf meant and said so. "Thanks," I said. "I know."

After thanking them for the vittles I set off towards Meinisberg and the campground symbol on my Garmin. I had to climb, and fight headwinds the whole way, only to find that the campground was up a painfully steep and long grade. WHY do they keep doing that? Putting campgrounds up a humungous hill!? But what could I do? I rode up the damn hill...

This time I was rewarded for my pain. It was one of the nicest campgrounds of the trip. I can't really explain why? It wasn't the fanciest. I think it was the surroundings. Quiet, on a hill, not many people, a nice pool that I didn't use, but it was nice to sit by and write notes in my journal. My campsite was pretty, I was close the the toilets and wasn't squished between 5 other tents...

But also, the woman running it was extra nice. The restaurant was closed but she sold me food. Milk for my morning coffee, yogurt, butter for my bread, fruit and chocolate. She even went to the kitchen and lopped off a nice hunk of cheese. Dinner AND breakfast. After a day of foraging, it wasn't bad.

After dinner I took a walk. The weather was perfect by then and it was beautiful out.

I've been thinking of climbing Mont Ventoux, in France. I'll sleep on it...

I rode through some pretty towns today...
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...and pretty country lanes.
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Life through my rear view...
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Hmmm? A John Deere and farmers bull-shit'n at the local and farming and feed store on a Sunday morning. Could just as well be small town America.
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This is the style of roof on the barns in this area. It seems they all look like this. Very distinctive, and different from other parts of Switzerland.
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Another beautiful covered bridge
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I saw many of these polls outside houses and farms. I didn't asked, but worked out that they had to be an announcement for a new baby. They seem to have the newborns name and birthday. I guess I should have asked about it to be sure, I just never thought of it when there was someone around to ask.
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This was the view from the campground. Pictures never capture the height of things, but trust me, it was pretty high up. Maybe in a car I wouldn't have noticed? But, trust me, I noticed.
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School zone
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What the!? This sure is farm country.
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A lot of houses, especially the older ones, have words like this. I think they are a sort of blessing, as in "bless this house..." kind of thing.
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Amber waves of grain near the campground in the evening
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So many bike routes, so little time.
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School building paintings
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This picture has no meaning, or significance there'uv, to the the journal at large or the story in general. I just happen to like daisies. Though these could just be daisy lookalikes? Who cares?! I like them.
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Today's ride: 89 km (55 miles)
Total: 2,769 km (1,720 miles)

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