Day 88 – the challenge of eating properly on a Pilgrimage

Our diet is alternating between pasta and pizza in a desperate battle to eat enough calories to sustain the next day’s walk. Pasta for lunch and Pizza for dinner. Not that I’m complaining. Last night Paul and I shared a takeaway pizza. We ate it in the local bar, drinking beer at non tourist prices. Just perfect.

Today has been one of those days when I haven’t really been in the mood for walking. From the start my legs refused to engage. Apart from the sunshine it’s been very humid. The Frizzante has been flowing from an early hour and we stopped for an excellent lunch. But it was a big struggle for me to reach the top of our hilltop destination this afternoon.

The first hotel was full which came as a surprise and disappointment. Fortunately the next hotel had rooms; I’m not sure I could have walked any further. Our clothes were dripping wet with sweat and Paul took everything to a launderette opposite while I slept.

Sometimes it’s very difficult and frustrating trying to get the right food in restaurants. Many pilgrims often cook their own meals in hostels with kitchens. This works well because it is cheap and you can prepare the right sort of food for a person walking day after day. It’s also very social. Unfortunately I rarely feel like cooking after a long walk and there isn’t always a food shop nearby. My ideal meal is therefore either provided by the hostel or in a local pilgrim friendly restaurant. That means they serve high energy food in sizeable portions without ceremony. And cheaply, of course.

After my excellent lunch (steak stir-fried with cubed roast potatoes and rosemary and a salad) I felt like a large pasta this evening. We wandered into a nearby restaurant without paying sufficient attention to the menu. The owner sadly considered his own dedication to the art of high cuisine more important than his customers wishes.

We started badly. I was still very dehydrated and asked for a beer. He only served a local artisanal brew which, as these things normally are, was undrinkable. Next he refused to serve several items on the menu. I wanted spaghetti with tomato and garlic sauce. This required a minimum of two people. I told him I would order two portions but he refused, saying there would be too much garlic for one person. So I ended up with a tiny portion of another very spicy pasta. It was a complete waste of money.

I left Paul and went to the hotel’s restaurant for a nice pizza (5 Euro) and a pleasant large Peroni (3 Euro).

More often than not, in France we were served rubbish food at high prices. You expect the Italians to know better.

Ok I’m in a bad mood today. The Peroni is working it’s magic and I bought some fruit and water for a few cents so I’m starting to feel better. But I haven’t had a gelato and I suspect that might be the underlying cause.

The beautiful Tuscany scenery continued today.

Lovely church in San Quirico d’Orcia

this might be a new paint effect

7 comments on “Day 88 – the challenge of eating properly on a Pilgrimage

  1. Roger Clarkson

    Perhaps a cup of green tea (tè verde) would help? I like todays photos – the trees are very artistic.

  2. There’s never a MacDonalds around when you need one!

  3. Walkmag

    Did you walk to San Quirico today Tim ?

    • Actually we walked through San Quirico on Thursday. We just stopped for lunch which was excellent

  4. Your NEED for a gelato sounds like a woman’s Need for chocolate!

    • Hello Jenny

      It is probably very much like that. You will fully understand next June! I hope you both come to the CPR meeting next spring and we can have a cup of CPR instant coffee but no gelato. Tim

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