Day 30 Wednesday 22nd 2016 112km (km in total)
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
In the UK, ‘bedtime’ is often seen to be around 11pm, and most outdoor gigs and music events finish then. Last night, on one side of my tent I had music blearing out and on the other I had a busy main road! I was also very hot. After being in the sun during the day, I seem to radiate out heat during the night. Still, I was keen to get up at 7am and leave just after 8.
When I started my travels, I would often take up to two hours in the morning to prepare myself and pack everything away. Now, I’ve got into the swing of things and know where everything goes and am an expert at packing up my tent in minutes!
Today my destination was to a warm showers host. He was called Andrea and lived near Lake garda. Even though I tried to leave a little earlier, the heat was still near unbearable by 10pm! It was made worse by following the garmins directions up through a vineyard!
The road was fine to begin with, but it slowly got smaller as houses disappeared. Soon, the ‘road’ turned into a gravel track, only wide enough to cycle and walk up. There were also lots of ‘private’ signs which didn’t help! It was too late to turn back, as retracing my path would only take longer. I kept peddling but as it went higher and higher, the rough path was too steep to carry cycling. I felt defeated! It was the first time I have had to get off and push. Even waking it was hard as the bike, as the wheels still slipped on the gravel and panniers wanting to head back downhill!
After a half an hour struggle, I finally made it over to the other side, taking a break under the vine leaves. The views were great, seeing over to a castle, small towns and more vineyards. Nearby there was also a small lake with a zip wire going across. Obviously missing the seaside here, they had attached a surfboard to the wire and could whizz around the lake, being pulled along!
Approaching Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, the roads became busy, with lots of minibuses and tour coaches, full of eager tourists.
As I was taking a break beside Verona’s Arena with some shade, a coach pulled up and lots of people got off. One Chinese man came up looking very excited and ask for a selfie. Feeling obliged, a few snaps were shot. Soon, around 10 more tourists almost made a queue for selfie with me! Maybe they thought I was an attraction and siting there especially for the tourists or perhaps my blog is so well known I’m recognised everywhere I go… Then I remembered I would just be one picture out of the millions on their cameras and will probably never be looked at again!
After a sample of Verona’s best pistachio ice cream, I found a cycle path along the canal out of city which avoided the traffic. It was coming towards 4.30pm, one of the hottest parts of the day and there was little shade. I felt even if I was cycling fully naked, I would still be too hot!
Passing lots of amusement parks and attractions, I arrived at Andrea’s appartment. While I had been sweating away for the last few hours, he had been relaxing beside his pool. Andrea had cycled around America a few years ago so had many great stories.
Swimming in his pool after a long, hot day was the best way to cool down. Cold water and a lovely view towards Lake Garda, which is the biggest lake in Italy.
Finishing the day off in an Italian style, Andrea had prepared a great meal of pizza, salad accompanied with some local red wine from the vines beside the lake.
What more could I need? Oh, I got a double bed! Andrea thank you, you’re a great warm showers host!