Day 26 18th Saturday June 2016 63km (2332km in total)
“To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” Freya Stark
Sleeping in the room above the reception was comfortable yet a little strange. My head was right next to some big fluffy animals watching over me. When I emerged, going down to wash, I bumped into the lady who was running the campsite and had done for the last 40 years. She had the look on her face as if to say “what are you doing in my loft?”
The sun was brightly shining and it was hard to describe yesturdays storm in hand gestures, as she also didn’t speak a word of english. I pointed over to the Germans caravan and let him do the talking. She probably though I was trying to blame someone else!
The Euro Velo route was great and all signed. Touring cyclists are normally the only people I overtake. Road cyclists have their super light bikes and most other leisure cyclists never have any luggage. When I see other tourers I often try and catch them up. Sometimes I might overtake one then soon pass them again when I’m taking a break. Other times I might take a different route or get lost, meaning I catch up with them an hour down the road, even though I was cycling faster.
One couple I passed were both wearing New Zealand cycling jerseys. I assumed they would speak English and asked them where they were from. Either they didn’t speak English or just didn’t like the look of me, but they waved me to over take. Perhaps they didn’t want to share their stories with a fellow traveller…
The cycle path was parallel to the river, making it mostly flat. This making me feel invincible, meant I arrived quickly to Villach for lunch. My phone’s data hadn’t been working since crossing the border into Austria. Not sure why, but is a little annoying. However, there was free WiFi in the tourist information and maps of the route. There didn’t seem to be any campsites outside Villach. For some reason the campsite maps of Italy looked bare compared to other countries.
The sun was brightly shining, I had been cycling fast without pacing myself this morning and was feeling quite sleepy. Rather than carry on, I headed towards a campsite up out of the town. It was a Saturday and although the restaurants were busy, most of the rest of the town looked empty and quiet.
After a long upwards drag to the campsite, I found it wasn’t open. There were sounds pointing towards it, but once I arrived I was welcomed with a “warning,do not enter” sign. Rather to camp on the smooth looking grass without permission, I saw another campsite nearby.
However this meant going further up the hillside. This campsite I was pleased to see was open and thriving. Why would you have your campsite closed in June? Even though the weather may not always feel like it, it is basically summer.
I was still using the gas I’d bought in Norway, using as little as I could. Although it was a big gas cannister, it was beginning to feel a bit light and near empty. I had been told it was hard to find the right gas here and I had been to several shop all with no luck. In Zell am See campsites shop, I saw one that looked very similar. Thinking it was the right fitting, I had bought it. The plastic cap was covereing the valve and, yes you’ve guessed it, it didn’t fit.
However, here in Villach there was a super sized sports shop. After asking and checking several times it was the right one, I managed to find the correct one. It was about the quarter of the size of the original one but it should allow me to have quinoa for a good few weeks.