Italian Food, Part 1: Sardinia (and also a little bit on cycling)

•May 4, 2016 • 4 Comments

Sure, southern Spain has fantastic roads, great climbs, charming white-washed hilltop villages, unbelievably courteous drivers, and wonderful weather.  And Sardina has very good cycling, but honestly, it’s not Spain.  

The Sardinian coast and island interior 

But, while the Spanish cycling is amazing, the food can be a bit tedious. Yes, great food can be found in nicer restaurants, but the menus can become repetitive.  When cycling and wanting to grab something relatively quick, the options are often deep fried. 

Italy, and in this case, Sardinia, makes eating a great joy.

[But both countries have a limited definition of breakfast: In Southern Spain its toast with tomato purée and lashings of olive oil with jamon as an option; in Sardinia (and most of Italy), it’s maybe a croissant accompanied by an amazing coffee (though, this morning the B&B did put out a great spread).]

Now, the Italian dinner is something else entirely. Perfection all the way through…including the wine and digestif. 

Wine and a big pizza: $10

 

I remember on a recent trip to Rome (but it could have been anywhere in Italy), reading a blog comment about “the best” restaurant, and suggestions for “great meals”… really?  That’s total BS… You can close your eyes and stumble into the first place you hit and you have about a 90% chance it’ll be good. A 75% chance it’ll be great.

 

OK, I’ve had a bad meal in Italy…but it’s damn rare.

 

Carte musica…

Oh yes, so far Sardina cycling: 168 miles & 17,447′ of gain… Which is damn fortunate ’cause there’s a lot of eating going on here.

 

 

 

 

Andalucia tour finished, now to Sardinia

•May 2, 2016 • 3 Comments

Finished cycling Spain with 375 miles and 29,700′ of gain. I’m now on the overnight ferry to Sardinia for 8 more riding days. 

This day started with an amazing cycling road.  For over 15 miles it was perfect pavement, and I saw a total of zero cars.  The rest of the day was very good riding, but this section would be hard to beat.

The road approaching Zuhara.  And once again, a brutally steep final climb up to the village. 

Yes, they do put these hilltop villages in fact on the top of hills. 

Looking back to Zuhara

The front of my hotel in Osuna.  Osuna is a town filled with old palaces (my hotel was an 18th century palace, which was beautiful, but had 18th century plumbing), churches, and convents.  Lots of streets had names that included the words Jesus, Christo, Dios, etc.  

Osuna’s old homes have an interesting pop-out window detail.  

 

The Fiesta started in Córdoba with an interesting mix of activities, which mostly included decorated church plazas, big flower-covered crosses, and large beer stands.  An odd mix of religion and serious partying.  And true to the Spanish tradition, it was loud and went long into the morning hours.  

Day 3: Antequera to Ronda

•April 25, 2016 • 3 Comments

67 miles & 6745 ft. The road leaving Antequera makes for some truly fantastic cycling, and lots of climbing. 

 

The morning started with some fog

 

 

And the drivers actually follow this law

 

In the complex, cramped hilltop villages, the GPS sometimes thinks these are rideable 

 

More great roads…

Touring Andalucia Day 1: Córdoba to Zuheros

•April 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

58 miles, 4505′.    Most of the climbing was at the end. The final ¼ mile up to the village of Zuheros on the cobble road hit 17%.  A killer with a loaded touring bike!

 

In the courtyard of the apartment we rented

This stage is mostly riding through farmland. A typical farmhouse in the back. 

Zuheros…the quintessential white village. 

Zuheros could NOT be any more picture perfect. 

Flamenco in Córdoba

•April 19, 2016 • 1 Comment

Probably the best Flamenco show we’ve ever seen.  

Cycling Andalusia and Sardinia

•April 6, 2016 • 1 Comment

I’m doing these two solo, self-supported loops: 7 days cycling in Andalusia and 8 days cycling in Sardinia. Total of 783 miles and just under 70,000′ of climbing.  Spring Training!

Sardinia Loop 2016

 

Spain Loop-2016

Platinum-Palladium Prints of Recent Travels: People in their Environment

•April 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

GO TO: Platinum Palladium Prints

Washi Artisan

Washi Artisan

For some time now I’ve been working to improve my Platinum – Palladium printing techniques.  It’s been a long road…

 
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