Day 28 Monday 20th June 2016 126km (2570km in total)
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road (or dangerous drivers in my case!) and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman
Just 40km in from the border of Italy, and the weather is picking up already! Yesterday it was rainy and bearly short weather and today it is full sun and back to 26°c! Crossing through Germany and Austria for the last two weeks have mostly been cloudy and rain, so I had forgotten all about the suncream!
Using my free 30 minute Wi-Fi from the campsite, I checked the weather and was surprised. Each day seemed to be getting warmer, with a 36°c heatwave in a few days! With this in mind, I left as early as possible to get as many kilometres in before it was unbearable.
The drivers in Germany were a shock compared to those in Denmark and Scandinavia. They drove much faster and sped up when they saw me near a junction, rather than stop and give way. However, they often had powerful BMWs or similar.
Italy gets the badge for worst drivers so far on my travels! Only on my second day in and I’ve already had a few near misses, with people overtaking heading almost straight into oncoming traffic and even a nun pulling out just in front of me! Their Fiat Pandas are very popular, which to be fair, are often small enough to squeeze though most gaps!
I tried to keep to the smaller roads and cycle paths. There are some cycle paths and long distance routes but the surfaces aren’t always that great.
It’s amazing how different the landscape is, between what is basically a line on the map. Austria was green, trees and grass everywhere. Here the warmer climate is showing with crispy bare earth, vineyards and lizards popping out from under rocks. The difference between Italy and Austria is probably the biggest I’ve seen so far.
The houses are very different as well. Instead of wooden huts in the countryside they have mostly stone or cream coloured houses, blending in well with the pale earth and soil here. Coulored shutters brighten them up nicely. There are lots of disused building, including both houses and industrial estates.
The weather is such a change, my body finds it hard to cope! The air seems thick and heavy, making those hills hard to get up! Luckily, most of the day was fairly flat with just the last 5km up to the campsite going up the side of a small mountain. Still, the views were absolutely stunning and once I had arrived, I could start to fully appreciate the sun!
A Dutch couple also staying at the campsite had the unfortunate view of seeing me puff and pant up the hill. I doubt it was a good sight, with my jersey fully open and sweat dripping off like rain!
As I was drifting off to sleep, I suddenly saw a orange flashing lights from what looked like the top of my tent. In my slightly dreamy state, my first thought someone had attached a bomb to the tent. It must be about to go off! I jumped up and opened the tent to look outside. Nothing was there. With my torch, I finally saw a small bug, on the top of the inner tent. A bright flashing light was coming from its belly.
The next day after a quick search on Google for ‘a bug that flashes’ and saw it was a firefly. I have never seen one before and am very impressed! For such a small beatle the light is amazing.
For those who want to know how they produce the light, they take up oxygen and combine it with a liquid called luciferin. This the makes the light which is used to find and attracted mates. Intriguing stuff!!