Europe N to S: A Zero Day Along the Border (5/19/17)

Today’s Miles: 0
Total Miles: 6,097

Villa Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal – May 19, 2017

“Oh, you aren’t going to count the 0.2 miles we walked to switch hotels?”

Hi, Wally, good to see you too.

“What about the 0.3 to the library?”

Nope, it’s a zero day, you know I’m not counting miles walking around town..

“The 0.5 to the grocery store and back?”


“And the 0.4 looking for restaurants?”

It’s a zero day, Wally, we aren’t counting those miles.

“So they just don’t count?”


“Just poof, like they​ never happened, like we didn’t walk those steps?”

Yep. It’s always been that way.

“Well I guess we’re all just working for free down here, pounding pavement and burning in the sun.”

Wally, is this about the bacalhau?

“Oh no, I mean it’s not like we just walked across an entire country and missed eating the national food staple.”

I tried.

“It’s not like there are more bacalhau dishes than days in a year and yet you couldn’t find a single one for all us down here in the gut trying to keep this body running.”

I went to two different restaurants today, Wally. You were there, you know. They were both out. No bacalhau left in either of them!

“We were in Portugal for a month and a half and you’re going to talk to me about the last day like it was your one chance?”

Yes, but…

“This is inexcusable.”


“We ask for little down here in exchange for all we do, a baguette in France for touching up a sore ankle, a bit of pasta in Italy and you walk blister free for a month, a touch of Norwegian smoked salmon and sore muscles disappear, but ask for some salted cod in a country littered with it and apparently I might as well be asking for cheese sliced off the moon.”

What do you want from me, they are out of bacalhau!

“It’s not like the whole point of walking across Europe is to eat the food or anything.”

That’s supposed to be a secret.

“Well compensated employees are better at keeping secrets.”

How about mackerel?

“How many?”

A whole plate of them, just pulled out of the sea.

“Grilled or fried.”


“Ice cream after?”

Will it get you to shut up about miles on a zero day?

“I want four bars, chocolate with a chocolate coating, and don’t go trying to pass off some mini-bar like I’m some figment of your imagination and don’t have eyes to see. Full bars only.”

I can go two and I want my right foot feeling 100% in the morning. We’re back in Spain, new shoes, with just the home stretch in front of us and I don’t want to hobble.

“Three and 80%. I work miracles, but I’m not a god.”

Three and 80%? Are you joking? Daya’s got Sierra Raspberry working for two and I bet she’s getting at least 85% from each foot.

“Who’s that, Pecan Breadstick?”

Sierra Raspberry.

“Are you kidding me right now? What does this Cinnamon​ Turnipseed have to do with me?”

She seems to work well for Daya. Apparently she’s got fringed leather boots, heart-shaped sunglasses, and a rainbow middrift shirt.

“Is this a joke?”

She drinks kombucha and smells like jasmine mixed with a little bit of sandalwood.

“I will shut this entire operation down.”

Afraid of the competition?

“Afraid? Afraid of Lemon Blackberry? Wally is never afraid! Feel free to go with Ms. I can live off sunshine and carrots and see what happens. Kombucha and jasmine! Two and 85%! Bah. Don’t come crawling back to me when you are crumpled over in a ditch and she’s out there busting blisters with dandelions.”

So what do you want, Wally?

“I want three full bars and I’ll give you 85% because I am feeling merciful.”

And the mackerel.

“That is a given.”



4 thoughts on “Europe N to S: A Zero Day Along the Border (5/19/17)

  1. You’d best be careful with Wally, Daniel. Just because you’re near the end…

  2. Welcome back, Wally!!! You’ve been missed!!! Loved the addition of Sierra Raspberry, Cinnamon Turnipseed, et al… Delightful!!!

  3. Wally negotiating skills are worth studying. Negotiating from the gut. Nice sound to it.

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