Friday, 13 June 2008


It may seem monotonous, but today I’ll be talking about food. It’s not that I’m fixated on it, actually I pretty much am, but the truth of the matter is that the lifestyle here in Italy accommodates for two things…coffee, and food. The former I’m not an enthusiast about, so I have a choice of brioche (croissant), cioccolata calda (hot choco.), panini (salad roll), pizza, gelati…and the list goes on. Note: It’s a fact that I’ve lost weight since I’ve been here, but don’t try this diet at home folks. So here goes. When I last wrote, I had just finished exploring this beautiful country on my bike, then returned home to smash a whole pack of chocolate wafers, completed a windtrainer session, and then ventured across the road for some gelati…notice the equality of riding and treats?

The MTB’ers left for Val di Sole yesterday (pictured with Lachy holding a toilet brush?? Dan and Paul), a week out from their respective X-Country World Championships. I went for a spin with them in the morning, devastated after bypassing the ‘Chocolate Spoon’, but as a substitute we decided to inhale a box of sweet biscuits coated in a bonus size jar of nutella while packing the van. We all cook our own meals over here, so in memory of their ‘claggy’ risotto from yesterday, I attempted my first risotto for dinner. After adding 1.5 cups of water, of which they had recommended four, I quit on the stirring due to starvation and ate it anyway. Surprisingly, I went back for a second serving!

By this time, Carla’s flight from Australia had been delayed and re-directed, and as the third addition to my room, she had finally arrived. It was merely an overnight visit, and she had left the country before I even woke this morning. As predicted, she has signed with one of the leading women’s professional cycling teams in ‘Cervélo-Lifeforce’ and was flying out to start her first tour racing in their colours. While she was on a plane, I was devouring Italian coco-pops, out of an Italian bowl, while watching the Italian version of Power Rangers. As a substitute, we were graced with the presence of Matt King, who had endured a 10 hour train ride from Germany after withdrawal from Thüringen-Rundfahrt, and in the meantime, had his phone stolen, but that’s a whole other story.

Today started with a chocolate brioche and two cioccolata calda’s…which are like bowls of soup here, so thick that your spoon literally stands straight! Tiff, Matt and I then indulged in chocolate nutella crepes for lunch, made with chocolate milk and smeared with extra nutella…full of nutrition! Then it was time for my first journey into Varese, where we waited on the platform in the rain because Matt got the time table wrong. We feasted on a special kind of pizza called ‘Balun’, as in ‘balloon’, hence the appearance of the pizza (pictured above). It’s mostly filled with air, not contents, but in saying that I couldn’t even finish it…very unusual. Another gelati indulgence took place before an epic wait at the station, a walk home in the rain, and decisions as to whether Tiff and I should join Matt in Venice for three days… hmmm… choices...