Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Matera Sightseeing

by Tyler

We started our day by making french toast with Matera looming in the distance. It was very windy and we were downright cold as I packed up camp while Tara prepared breakfast. Once again, thank you Mark and Lisa for sending maple syrup in our last supply drop! Yum.

Matera Morning View Tara Making French Toast

Since Matera seemed so close, and getting there on roads would require 100+ meters of ascending and descending, we decided to ride to the end of the park we'd camped in to see if there was some way we could push into town after the road ended. Here I am turning around; there is a massive gorge between us and the city! Oh well.


Riding back into town, Tara tromped across a muddy field to take a photo of this "cute little house!"

Little White House

Hoping to avoid a repeat of last week, we stopped at a local market to stock up on food before the weekend shop closings started in earnest. It was lively and colorful and Tara and I had a blast visiting all the vendors. We bought four onions, a kilo of mandarin oranges, and two bulbs of garlic all for 2 euro! The salesperson must have given us a discount.

Fruit Crates

We met a shopkeeper who welcomed us warmly and offered a giant bag of crackers to which we were supposed to help ourselves! We really are astounded by how friendly and generous everyone around here seems to be. The crackers were very dry and slightly salty with a hint of anise.


While I was saving our place in a long line to buy produce, Tara wandered around to take pictures. In the process, she met these men who loved being photographed and especially enjoyed goofing around.

Matera Market Men Goofing Around Matera Market Men Goofing Around Matera Market Men Goofing Around

Well stocked with food, we went for another walk in the Sassi. So cool!

Matera Sassi Matera Lamp Post

Unfortunately, the torture museum we were so curious to visit was closed. We didn't have much luck finding our way into any frescoed churches either (though we didn't try that hard). We've been saying that Italy feels like England a lot lately. When we found this stone chapel it only served to strengthen the impression.

Matera Chapel Ceiling Matera Chapel Ceiling

On our way out we found a fountain to fill our water bottles. Now that we had everything we needed to free-camp (it isn't much, just food, water and safe spot!), we decided to hang out at a cafe for awhile before heading "home." Approaching sunset, we made our way out of town just as it started to rain.

Tara's Bike in Matera Sassi Tyler Filling Water Our Bikes

On our way up to the field overlooking the city where we camped last night, we rode by several caves. Feeling the cold, drizzly rain against our faces, we decided that one of these covered shelters would be ideal. We easily wheeled up to one and Tara immediately started "nesting" by putting our few possessions into little nooks and crannies. It was really warm!

Camping in a Cave Camping in a Cave

For dinner, we (well, mainly Tara) made a cheesy pasta dish. First, I boiled pasta while she cut up an onion and three cloves of garlic. When the pasta was done, she took over, sautéing the garlic and onions in butter. This became the basis of a cream sauce to which she added the "flour" we thought we'd bought earlier today. It turned out to be finely ground cornmeal. Whoops! It worked anyway.

Next, she added milk to the butter/flour paste a little at a time so it would thicken into a creamy sauce. Into that, she put in generous amounts of parmasean cheese, and lots of Scamorza (sort of like fresh mozzarella only saltier and feetier). Lots of pepper, and sprinkling of salt later, we had a feast before us!

We had to force ourselves to stop eating so we would have leftovers for tomorrow.

Cheesy Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta
Previous Entry
Next Entry


How do you guys pack your leftovers? Snaplid boxes? Ziplock bags? Old socks?

Enquiring minds want to know. :-)
Posted by Kirby on February 3rd, 2010 at 4:58 PM
Hey Kirby! We're still using some cheap tupperware (30 pence a piece) that we bought in England.

Sometimes we use old jam jars to store things as well.

Some things we've learned the hard way:

- Make sure the lids attach tightly
- If the substance is soupy (or could melt!) pack right side up, no matter how good the seal is.

You can see some of our tupperware in this post:


Hope that helps!
Posted by Tara on February 3rd, 2010 at 5:42 PM
Just in case you haven't experienced these yet:


They are pretty awesome. We filled one with water and kicked it back and forth across the living room floor one day to test them out. No leaks!
Posted by Kirby on February 11th, 2010 at 2:06 PM
Believe it or not, I just saw these in a store a few days ago.

I eyed them rather skeptically for a minute, feeling sure that they were just a gimmick. Now I wish we'd bought one.

Next time we come across them we'll grab one for leftover soups. Thanks Kirby!
Posted by Tyler on February 11th, 2010 at 3:42 PM
That first picture of the Italian men is very enduring. Great shot!
Posted by Navi on October 6th, 2010 at 12:00 PM