This will be a bit of day 6 & 7 rolled into one
Yesterdays 90 odd k’s were hard as I stated previously and I didn’t get as far as I wanted but it turned out fine…After a hard slog I came to a town where there were no camping spots. So I used my non itlaian speaking negotiation skills. I saw a river on my gps and just like I did on my Mildura tour, I was drawn to it like a sheep to it’s feeding track. I saw a canoe club and it was perfect…castle in the background, sun setting, summers breeze and did I mention I AM IN ITALY ON MY BICYCLE WHAT THE HELL. Anyway so I walked up to the owner and said something like ‘uno notte campeggio grazie’ (Im learning fast. I then said in English ‘please if that’s ok’…he said not a problem. So I am sitting behind this canoe club in a town called Cassano d’Adda right along the river (see pic below) and it’s picture perfect. Then the whole club came down and starting chatting to me about the vet from bondi- its on tele here. We had a good chat and they were so friendly. It’s amazing what happens when you ask…I haven’t had a no for anything yet on any of my tours so when I do – the odds are way more in the positive than negative. So I sat down and ate my flat bread with roast beef (not the brown stuff in Australia but the real raw beautiful stuff they have here) and my cheese from Gorgonzola and dearly SMASHED IT. With a banana and peach for dessert. I am now sitting in my tent doing it rough on this lush grass listening to fish jump out the pond and lights shining onto a castle that’s centuries old (i’m just saying centuries because it sounds good and on my laptop that’s about 6 months old. It was lovely to see that as I rolled my wheels into this town tired, hungry, sweaty, frustrated .. that it ended like I hoped for when I was sitting in my own house dreaming about this trip. The good, the bad, and the …did I mention the good coffee….
Day 6 – 120km – Cassano d’Adda to Desenzano
The day starting off with my panniers falling off and smashing into my spokes – BRILLIANT!!! Lucky I brought some tools with me and have had a couple bicycle courses for this very reason – banged in the new spare spoke and straightened the wheel and GOOD AS GOLD – AUSSIE GOLD THAT IS (not that we are getting much in the Olympics). I must put some tubing around the racks or something to fill the void between the clips and what they clip onto..umm the racks yeah that’t it – they rattle a little. Anyway – onwards I go passing little towns and drinking coffee anywhere and everywhere (and water of course. This was my best day of touring I have ever had. It was a long hard day but the ending (again) was awesome – read on.
I cycled most of the day along corn fields and old castles – it was beautiful. I was struggling a little bit but when i pushed through that I kinda slipped into second gear and the pain went away. I stopped in a little town called Spirano and two people came up to me and offered me coffee and fruit – why you say – because I am on a bike. They were very nice so I had a chat with them and then i tried to pay but they wouldn’t let me – i insisted so then they said (and get this it’s funny) they said ‘you good’ in which I thought they were saying that I am good for trying to pay. To which I said ‘Oh thankyou’ and then they went away and came back with a yoghurt (yo goot hahaha)– cracked myself up cycling away from that town. They offered me to sit around and have another coffe but I had to get on the road again **pictures song in head**.
It was getting on a bit and i clocked up 80k’s and I reached Brescia. I hunted for campsites but nothing. I then went to tourist info and asked around and they gave me a list of hotels – I went to two and they were both closed – it was hot and I was tired. I GPS’d that sh!t up and saw a lake that was 30km away and I thought hmmmmmmmmmmm that’s another 1.5 hrs – do I really want to?? I sucked it up and drew strength from the fact that I could camp by a river.
2 hours later – thanks to headwinds I was descending down into beautiful Desenzano (Lake Garda) All of a sudden out pop two people on bikes descending quite fast – I was like HUH! Then out popped this lovely man and his wife. We got to talking and riding for a bit and they asked where I was going to stay – I was hell tired (6 hours on the saddle that day) yeah 6 hours at an average of 18kmph – i was rooted. Anyway I said ‘I don’t know, somewhere down there’ and pointed. They offered if I wanted to stay at their place and I was shocked – they seemed like really nice people so I thought what the heck and went with my instinct (i.e large compass of a nose that also acts as a character judgement tool).
There names are Martino and Manuela so if you are reading this – Thankyou just doesn’t cut it – you are two of the nicest people I have met and your kindness was much appreciated
They lived pretty much in the heart of Desenzano and this is a very touristic place due to the lake Garda – they lived on the third floor and overlooked the lake and mountains – i was lucky to be there and not on the camping ground with 4 million people. We talked a bit and they gave me pointers and showed me on maps the best places to go, We talked a lot and we had pizza and mind you I had their olive oil made in her home town, cheese that was hand made in her home town and tomatoes grown from balcony – awesome dinner. They let me shower, eat, recharge and have great chats. We then went for a walk through the main part of town and watched fireworks (it’s at this point I am feeling for any dizziness or feelings of impending doom from poisoned pizza hehehehe). There were THOUSANDS of people there it was CRAZY. They showed me the best gelati in town so we smashed that and then watched a live traditional Italian band – I can tell you now that to them it was a normal night in their hometown but for me it was one of the best travelling experiences I have had – two lovely people that just wanted to accommodate a weary traveller. I am biased and strange but to me, this is travelling and really experiencing my surroundings and soaking it up.
Day 7 – Desenzano – Montava
After having a GREAT sleep (and kidneys in tact) it was time head off and thank them a million times. If you’re ever in Adelaide guys – hook me up anytime
So I made a bit of detour thanks to their advice which I was glad for because the tourists in Desenzano were CRAZY!!. I’m about 80km away from my target but that’s ok – their advice was on the money. I am now in Mantova – I rode along a river the whole day (65km)
and my legs are a little tender from 10 hours of riding in two days. It was a lovely ride. I had lunch somewhere in the middle and thought ‘man this place is NEVER going to come’ that to me says REST DAY TOMORROW WHOOP WHOOOP. After lunch (and picking some apples from an orchard along the way that were juicy as) it was time to get on the road again – **A thought I had today*** On goes the sunscreen over my sweaty brow and bugs collected on my arms and legs from the previous 35km. It was 33 and hot, my helmet was dripping and I could taste my sweat for many of those k’s – I put my headphones in my ears and as I climbed a small hill, I could hear my own heartbeat through my headphones – after the hill I saw the massive lake and old building in the background – I was hot and had sore legs and I thought – THIS IS TRAVELLING and i’m living it up. Lets hope I say this in a months time hahaha.
I remember on my murray tour seeing Rabbits and plenty of them on the side of the road and actually getting to know where they would burrow and scatter etc – I am getting the same feeling now but with the ‘lovely ladies’ here – Just like watching nature on the side of the road and observing the habitat like Attenborough I noticed that they tend to hang approx 40km apart and bordering medium to large towns, white plastic chair, shade, large smile – It’s funny to see – why not just set up a stall or something – put a sign up – easy
Made it to Mantova ok and free wireless at maccas thankyou and googled a campsite – I am looking forward to a day off tomorrow as this town looks great – i’ll post up tomorrow also so stay tuined peeps
TOUR TO DATE