Italy - Day 5 : Along the Italian coast
In the morning Bram told me the owner of the campsite had been standing next to our tents for 10 minutes and it was him who had said 'bicyclette'. The problem was that our bikes, which were parked at our designated spot on the campsite, apparently were also on the path that ran to our neighbors. So instead of 10 square meters, we had only 5 to park all our stuff. Fortunately, he didn't speak English, so I didn't even realize I had ignored him yesterday.
We didn't have any food left, so we first had to cycle to a store. The coastal road was crowded already. In Spain, we also cycled along a coast. I really wouldn't recommend that. In a store, we bought the six driest and tasteless brown pieces of bread in the whole of Italy. Even when we put as much jam and bread in our mouths as possible, it was nearly impossible to swallow.
It was only 9 o'clock, but we already needed to sit in the shade, it was that hot and humid. An old Italian man approached us, wearing white shorts, a white shirt, and a hat. He said very slowly, 'Are you from Holland?'. We said 'yes', but explained how we had taken the bus to the south of France. Then he said, 'then I have something for you', and he gave us two grease paper-wrapped packages. He said, "I was on the Dutch Texel island many years ago, and it was beautiful'. Then he left. We opened the packages. One contained onion bread, and the other some flatbread with olive oil. They seemed pretty good. Especially the union bread was surprisingly tasty. While we were eating the nice pieces of bread, which were a 100-times better than the stuff we had bought, he walked by again and waived.
I had expected the coastal road to be flat and have nice views. Neither was the case. The entire morning we were climbing, and we didn't have much of a view, except when we were on top of a hill and could see the next village. After Savona, we quickly arrived in Genova, a big and super ugly city. The roads were dirty and didn't accommodate cyclists. There were bridges and overpasses everywhere. Although there were no proper signs, we managed to navigate using the GPS pretty well. We bought some food and drinks at a supermarket. We also got some Isostar powder to make sports drink. We felt like it worked.
The pasta aisle in the supermarket
After much more cycling and climbing through the heat, we took a break at an excellent viewpoint.
View from the viewpoint
A while later, we wanted to cool down again in a supermarket. Today it was hot. We bought a warm chicken skewer that at least seemed like real food. Later we moved away from the coast and more inland. There was a very steep climb on a quiet road.
On top of the Passo de Bracco
We came to a long descent that brought us to another part of Italy. It was green, and there were forests everywhere, although they were hidden behind fences. We cycled from one village to the next through a broad river valley. The temperature had dropped a bit so that we could cycle at a good pace.
I had rolled both my tent and self-inflatable mattress in my foam mattress and attached the entire assembly to the back of my bike. After a bump, I suddenly heard something fall. I shouted 'Bram, stop, something fell'. The mattress had fallen off, but I couldn't see my tent anywhere. Bram asked what was wrong, and I explained the situation. I could already imagine myself sleeping without a tent until we found a camping store. We discussed what to do, for all, we knew, my tent had fallen off 20 km ago. We turned around and cycled back to the previous roundabout, there was nothing. Fortunately, I noticed something 100 meters further. It was my tent, and I was really happy. I attached everything better, and we continued.
It started getting late, and finding a good place to sleep was difficult. There was only the road and a river. We couldn't get off the road anywhere. After an ugly village, we found a side road leading to some vegetable gardens. They were visible from a nearby farm, but it was the best we could do. I was happy I could sleep in a tent.
Route of day 5, this day the GPS tracker didn't work
Distance cycled : 170 km.