Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Day in the Life

I wasn't sure how to name this post. A Day in the Life of... the Roaming Pizzaiolo (but I'm not making pizza), the luckiest guy (too cliche), the smartest (not a chance), the most adventurous (hardly), the most opportunistic (sounds sleezy). Although some of these titles crossed my mind, I didn't take any of them seriously (except perhaps the first one and maybe the most elegible bachelor ;). That's because I know I'm not the most or best at anything. I'm just an ordinary guy who is pursuing his passions. And that's the point I'd like to get accross in the forefront of this post. You don't have to be anything special to pursue a dream or passion or do someting extraordinary. I've talked to a lot of folks before and along the way on this trip. Some look at me like I'm a nut. Some look at me like I am completely sane. Most, also have a glean in their eye of wanting to do something of a similar scale. I know some folks might think I am here chasing a dream but I can asure you, my dreams are not occuring while I'm asleep, I'm experience them everyday.
Well, enough guidance from Dr. Schiff and before this stream-of-consciousness turns into Niagara Falls, I will get to the initial idea behind this post. Outlined below is kind of a typical day for me.
sultana bread and un caffe doppio
6 AM
-Wake up. No alarm.
-Pack panniers.
-Breakfast: usually self-catered." Italians have amazing food, but a wholesome breakfast does not really exist here. It usually amounts to un caffe and a croissant, perhaps some bread and jam too, if you are lucky. I just wouldn't last out on the road if this was all I ate (I know, I've tried and failed too many times). So, even when breakfast is provided (which I will eat, especially if it involves anything having to do with nutella), I always pick something up the night before at a paniteria. Something else of note: many B&B's should be called B&V's because its now common to receive a voucher to be redeemed at a local bar, where you are given un caffe and a croissant. Hospitality is slipping, I think.
8 AM
-Hit the road. I try to get on the bike as early as possible for a few reasons. First, unexpected things always happen (e.g. wrong turns, cool sights to see, weather). Inevitably, my rides take a bit of time. I'm typically on the bike for 3 to 8 hours a day. I don't want to ride in the dark and getting an early start is one way to prevent that. Second, while the riding is the destination of this trip, there is usually cool stuff to see at my daily destination. The sooner I get there, the more time I'll have to explore.
8 AM - Noonish to 3 PM'ish
-On the bike. I typically ride 30 km or 1-1.5 hours at a time and take a 5-10 minute break, eat something, , and check the map. There are always fruit stands around or a pasticceria where I can fuel up at. I typically don't eat anything too heavy or bloating as this makes the riding uncomfortable.
a typical post ride snack from Tripoli Caffe in Matera.
I can't recommend this place enough
3:30-4:00 PM
"Un bicchiere d'aqcua gassata e un caffe, per favore." I usually also order some kind of treat. This keeps me going and gives me the spunk to find my hotel, which can take a bit of time if its a big town. I also make notes on my ride as they are fresh in my mind.
4-6 PM
-Check into hotel or hostel, shower, hang wet clothes (not in AZ anymore... things take forever to dry!), and rest for 30 minutes or so. Then, I head back out on the town to orient myself, see any cool sites, and look for a good place for dinner assuming I'm not self-catering. Most restaurants have their menus posted outside.
-Logistics. If need be, call ahead to the next hotel. Look at the map for tomorrow's route. If I have found a good internet point, I log in do email and blog posting.
6-7:30 PM
Did you hear that? Oh, it was my stomach. Yep, time to eat! Hopefully, I have found where I'll be dining so I don't spend time hungry and roaming. That usually results in bad decision making.
night in Lecce
7:30-9 PM
-Walk the centro storico of the town I find myself in. Its great to see lots of people out. No matter the two or night, it always seems to be busy. Italians make the most of the night life, I think. Oh, and gelato?? Perhaps.
-Return to B&B/hotel/hostel and write notes about the day and general journaling.
-Check map and itinerary for the next day, lay out clothes, and in general, organize.
9:30 PM
-Sleep. I know, I'm lame.
That's it folks, a Day in the Life.

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