5. Food planning
Well, I have worked on my menu. Don't hold your breath for something special though... I will not be saying what I will have one what days but rather what my overall planning is. I will decide on the day what to eat.
2 days oats (instant just add boiling water variety) + biltong
2 days pronutro (premixed with sugar and powdered milk) + biltong
2 days eat at 2R restaurant
2 days instant noodles and can (of something, either basil pesto tomato sauce, creamed corn, who knows) + biltong
3 days braai
1 or 2 nights in restaurant (depending on menu and how good the 1st night is)
1 or 2 days oats or noodles and sauce + biltong
A few thoughts on why I have done it this way:
- I am going for the photos and the enjoyment of the serenity, not to spend time making food.
- I am not really a big boozer (I understand that this is odd for us South Africans, but as I am going alone, it is just weird to have a drink by myself - and no, I am going to be alone for a while so mixing with others is not really on my planned list of activities. On the other hand, I may put a single malt it, if there is place in the coolbox, just in case at Grootkolk I get all googly-eyed about my surroundings and want a celebratory nightcap).
- I enjoy food, eat a lot of it, but much of the time it is there to sustain me not entertain me.
- All biltong and meat will be bought at the relevant park shops - I like to support them. I understand that there may not be a huge selection, but as I have not predecided selection, anything I find will be good. Also, we do not really get venison this way so anything I can find will work. If I wanted chicked or pork I would take it myself rather than complain that a shop does not stock my special stuffed chicken breasts.
- I like the SANParks restaurants. Particularly the venison on the menus. I know many have different opinions, but while KNP was not great, Addo was decent, but boy, MZNP and Karoo NP were beyond amazing! The service was prompt and friendly, the menu varied with some really interesting dishes, there was lots of local style food (not just cheeseburgers, but a sweet mutton curry for example), the prices were decent (particularly when you take the amount of expected traffic through a restaurant that is not open to the public from outside the park at night, cost of labour this far out of normal civilisation, cost of getting all the ingredients to these parks - and when I talk of cost it is both money and effort), the quality was good, and most of all, for the restaurants run by SANParks, the animals end up with the benefit. Ok, plus then I don't need to pack the food, carry the food, cook the food or clean up afterwards.
- I really enjoy cereal. I don't really eat it at home these days as I get up and go straight to work to be there at 0710 these days, not going to waste time eating when I could be sleeping.
Also, I take lots of little snacks with me. My dear mother made a huge care package with some treats, including my favourite nougat (I know I have mentioned it before, but this is some special nougat!). Along with the car package, I take lots of not-so-messy sweets, like jelly sweets and other items that remind me of my childhood from where my love for SANParks started. My SO usually packs special little containers with a different selection for a day's drive each evening before, but as I am going alone, I will just start with one packet and move on to the next. As biltong and droewors are so insanely expensive here, I will buy lots of it to support the animals (not for me, it is all for the animals, somehow) and eat as I drive or sit at waterholes.
So, now that that is decided, I can start to focus on the