Italy - Day 10 : Vestenastock
In the morning there were many cyclists riding on the road where had slept next to. We rode a bit before buying our standard meal of donut peaches, half a liter of milk, and some buns. The remainder of the day we followed the signs for Verona. While planning the route we had already seen we would have a flat road for the next 150 km. It was a boring route over relatively large roads. We only saw car washes and Lidls. We got some more ice creams. According to Bram it was 'damn hot' again.
Long straight roads
We quickly covered a lot of ground and were counting down the kilometers to the Brenner pass. In a village we stopped to eat a can of fruits. Usually we mostly ate bread during breakfast and dinner, and while cycling a lot of fruit and sugar. Late in the afternoon the landscape became more hilly again. We passed some kiwi-plants.
The kiwi plants
We had already been cycling around without food for quite a while. We reached a village with a nice castle and a moat around it.
In the village
We weren't able to find a supermarket so continued. Five kilometers further we passed a huge supermarket. As soon as we parked our bike someone from security came out and 'discretely' followed us. The supermarket sold everything. There were two entire isles with pasta and then another one with fresh pasta. They also sold 10 kg cans of tomato sauce for making pizza.
The pasta isle
Outside the store was a bench where we ate. I asked Bram to park his bike somewhere out of the way, so the security guard wouldn't have an excuse to send us away. We just started eating our rice salad when the first one walked out of his office 'looked around' and then went back inside again. Two minutes later the second one did the same. Then a third one came out. He stood outside for a while before walking up to us. Then came the pinnacle of Italians. First he asked in Italian of we spoke Italian. We replied 'No, but we do speak English'. You could see him think. He didn't speak a word of English, so just started in Italian. We realized right away that he wanted us to leave, but it would be funny to try to stay as long as possible without upsetting the guy. After all we weren't doing anything illegal nor bothering the clients. He kept saying 'non mangare', no eating and was pretending to eat. We asked why we weren't allowed to eat and if there was another place near by, but he couldn't tell us. After a while we got up and cycled on carrying our open salad containers.
A kilometer further we found a bench. When another Italian walked up to us we already feared the worst. Most Italians looked really nasty when we would eat somewhere, but most didn't say anything. In France it would almost be an exception if nobody came up to us to said 'bone appetit'. Italians also don't like cycling. Except for some speed cyclists and a few people in the Alps only very poor people were riding a bike. Maybe that's why people were treating us like that. The flat valleys we had been cycling through the past 100 kilometers had mostly ended. The route now continued over a busy road through vineyards.
One field had a fruit stand where we bought nectarines and a melon. According to Bram the vacation wouldn't be complete without buying a melon. The Italian salesman was kind, he gave us two free nectarines. A while later we moved from the large road into a smaller one. The road went up very steep, around 12% through forests and many hairpin turns. We passed several 'villages' consisting of only two houses.
On top of the climb we were completely drenched in sweat. We wondered if there wasn't an easier road, but there really wasn't. We did reach a very beautiful descent. Shortly after the next climb already started. Meanwhile it was already 8 o'clock and nearly time to stop. However, as we were going uphill we weren't moving very fast and we were in a pretty urban area so it was hard to camp.
View in the evening
A church in Vestenanova
Half an hour later we were nearly on top of the hill. We hoped to find a nice place to camp in the descent. The first thing I saw on top was a wooden sign with 'camping' painted on it. That was unexpected because I had added all Italian campsites in my GPS (through archiescampings.com) and those had been spot on thus far. We also noticed two police men, holding a glass of beer. There was also huge banner saying 'Vestenastock'. It was some kind of festival. Maybe we would be allowed to stay at their campsite. We weren't sure how that would work and if we would need to pay, likely it would also be loud. We decided to cycle on. Fifty meters further we changed our mind and turned around to inquire. If we were lucky we might also be able to listen to some music. The cops were friendly but didn't speak English. They referred us to the festival's helpdesk.
We walked up to the festival area with our bikes and wearing cycling clothes. Most people looked surprised to see us. At the bar I asked it would be possible to stay at the campsite, they only replied 'the camping is on the other side of the road'. We had already knew that. The best solution seemed to just go there and have a look. The festival seemed free and looked fun.
The 'campsite' consisted of a piece of grass which was too tilted to sleep on. There were already two tents. We quickly pitched our tents and I changed into my 'normal' clothes. We headed back to the festival, got some beer and lay down in the grass to listen to the music. Basically this was an ideal end to a cycling vacation day.
It was a small festival, with only about a hundred people. They mostly played rock music. I enjoyed the second band the most, they were playing bluegrass versions of 'little green bag' and 'wish you were here'. There was also a BBQ, but no list of what was available. I tried to find someone to ask for help while Bram stayed to listen to the music. I asked if someone spoke English and everyone shook there head, except Fabio. He was around our age and asked where I was from. In the past he had been on cycling vacation as well, to Kroatia. I asked how the ordering system worked. He not only offered to show me but also bought us hotdogs. He also offered to buy us a beer, but I couldn't except that. When I returned to Bram with two hot dogs he asked why I was smiling so much.
The hot dogs were very good. We listened to some more music and after an hour Fabio passed by to take our picture. We were half asleep by the time the last band played, so headed back to our tents.
The route of day 10
Height profile of day 10. It was flat the entire day until we reached two large climbs in the afternoon.
Distance cycled : 160 km.