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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 on our designated spot on the campsite, apparently were also on the path that ran to our neighbours. So instead of 10 square meters we actually had only 5 to park all our stuff. Fortunately he didn't speak English at all 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 had also cycled along a coast. I really wouldn't recommend that. In a store we bought the 6 driest and tasteless brown breads in the whole of Italy. Even when we put as much jam as 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 came up to 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 had a onion bread and the other some flat bread with olive oil. They seemed pretty good. Especially the union bread was surprisingly tasty. While we were eating the nice breads, which were a 100-times better than the stuff we had bought, he walked by again and waived.

onion bread

The breads
 

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, which is a big and super ugly city. The roads were dirty and didn't accommodate cyclists. There were bridges and overpases everywhere. Although there were no proper signs we managed to navigate using the GPS pretty well. At a supermarket we bought some food and drinks. We also got some Isostar powder to make sports drink. We felt like it worked.

pasta in italian supermarkets

The pasta isle in the supermarket
 

After a lot more cycling and climbing through the heat we took a break at a nice viewpoint.

cycling in italy
bicycle tour in italy

View from the viewpoint
 

A while later we wanted to cool down again in a supermarket. Today it was really warm. 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 calm road.

Passo de Bracco
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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 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 of, 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 of 20 km ago. We turned around and cycled back to the previous round about, 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 it was difficult to find a good place to sleep. There was only the road and a river. We couldn't get of 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.

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Route of day 5, today the GPS tracker didn't work

Distance cycled : 170 km.