Well I was in Mantova and had some great river rides and awesome views and posted up my blog and had some dinner and thought – ok camping time – googled it up and thought I had the address as I put the coordinates in but when i rode there it was closed. I then went back to maccas for the wireless and googled up another one – it was a 30 minute ride but it was in the direction I wanted to go the next day anyway. I went there – I am CERTAIN I was in the right spot but again – nothing- there were only 5 star hotels and I wasn’t going to do that so onwards I went just outta town looking for a wild camp – swamp lands and swamp lands – I have no problems with that but I don’t like submerging my tent into water to sleep in. I was hoffing the food I had left into my mouth hungry as all hell looking for something. I thought – ok hotel it is – so gpsd a hotel and found a 3 star – they were really nice and gave me a discount and on the internet too – so hotel it was – really roughing it. The ac didn’t work but that is ok i was happy to shower and use their internet to research a little more. Mind you I was only going to do 50k’s that day – I ended up doing 90 – I have to get smarter at this but I am learning along the way. I was going to have a day off the next day but google told me that verona was only 50ks away and off I went in the morning (after filling my pockets with all the pastries I could from the breakky bar (for lunch which came in handy). I travelled along pretty much back roads all the way to Verona and it was AWESOME. Living it up listening to music and dreaming of absolutely nothing and just living it up. Stoped for a quick chat in a small town (forgot the name). I am gpsing the next towns all the time and as I said they are holding up well but its only the big towns that are hard to get through. I have nicknames for the towns to help remember them like desenzano was destiny and port maltovana was port magpies (much to my demise). I was trying to find a town that I could remember that sounded like GLENELG or THE BAYS but als there was nothing. I had only seen one tourer so far until I reached Verona and now I am camping with pretty much all bicycle toureres – it’s cool to trade secrets and stories and gear or just have a chat. Met some pretty cool Americans and chatted to them for a bit and traded maps and the like.
So I ended up in Verona and again FILLED WITH TOURISTS. Not a bad thing but so rushed and crowded. I went straight to the campsite with no problems at all as I had the coordinates and it was a 10 minute climb at 10% (kind of like cement hill in Brighton) nothing compared to Slovenia which I am soon to embark on but still – end of the day it was sweaty work. Got to the campsite and its really beautiful – an old castle converted and they have wifi, kitchen, hanging room, showers and an awesome view over the whole of verona all for 15euros (about 12aud). After chatting to a few tourers (so many dutchies here taking a cycling route from Holland to rome on there holiday) I have found that perhaps I should hostel it more as they are not so expensive so i’ll check that tomorrow. I will be here for one maybe two days but i will rest a little and walk arund town tomorrow – its busy but there is so much to see here and the views are spectacular. The beer is cheap in Italy so that’s a good thing – im having a few local beers and soaking it up right now happy to be here.
From what I gathered from speaking to a few peeps I am not doing any ‘traditional bike routes’ and just going to the towns I want to but I may try to encompass a few short parts of routes along the way if I can – thats ok – I am enjoying going through the towns where there are just the locals. Ill do some more research and find a map store in town and try to involve a few traditional routes though but mix it up a little if I can. If I come across an electrical shop I may try to find a proper gps also. 60km today so it was pretty cruisy as it was all flat. Slovenia calls and then it will start getting hilly. It will be nice when high season is finished as everywhere wont be as crowded. I think when i go to Slovenia, Poland etc it will be less crowded as there won’t be many traditional routes along the way – again – sorry for the spelling but you all will know what I am saying won’t you??? So as I said – I am soaking up the view of verona with a local beer and listening to frank Sinatra – pretty cool life hehehe. Ps – two coffees today – one in the town i forgot (I forgot to nickname it) and it was a short black (un caffe) and it was (10/10) and another at the campsite (10/10).