So the “forced” (rain) break at Lago Bolsena in Capodimonte was quite relaxing. I pretty much ended up visiting every bar (2 out of 3) and restaurant (1 out of 1) open and available. After a super stormy night with little sleep (my tent and I were not sure if we should find the many lightnings romantic or rather frightening) I was not too sad to leave and make my way into one of the most touristy regions of Italy: Tuscany. My plan was to ride to Sarteano – only because that was the only town with a camping place I could reach within a day. It was Friday and the first (and so far only day) I had my phone on. And guess what – I got a phone call:-) I will spare you the details, but to cut a long story short: instead of riding another 20 km I decided to ride another 60 km (on top of the 40 that I had done) to end up in Umbria, rather than in Tuscany. I made my way to a lovely “refugio” in the hills above Perugia (a region which I strongly combine with finishing my first studies and spending an awesome week with friends) being welcomed by friends in a place filled with love and peacefulness (yes that does sound cheesy, but it is so true). Anna and Lorenz: mille grazie! There is a picture of the secret road and two of the great views from this refugio (Perugia in the background). Besides finding a perfet spot to chill (in German: “um die Seele baumeln zu lassen”) I learned how to find wild-grown asparagus (so good!) and I saw my first porcupine (also leo.dict sagt mir hier auch “hedgehog” – aber meines Wissens nach ist das ein Igel, und ich mein wirklich ein Stachelschwein!!) live (huge).
After two very cosy evenings in Umbria I decided to continue in order to hit one of the other many places on my list: Massa Marittima. Well. I didn’t make it. Not yet. Yesterday, I stopped earlier than I had to, because I found this great organic farm that offered camping as well. What a lovely place and incredible how noisy animals can be. No manners. I still prefer it over the busy roads and the roaring motercycles, but it was a night with little sleep (OMG – never in the world sleep in a place with 2 or 3 peacocks: they are worse than the accumulation of all the dogs, sheep, goats and pigs, that were around my tent). Had a very nice dinner there though. Maria – all the animal pix are for you!!
So after having passed Montepulciano yesterday, I passed Pienza and Montalcino today and now had to stop in the middle of nowhere (Paganico) because I had been riding in rain for too long and was soaked (yes, still no rain pants). I will share some picutres of the first half of the day though (Tuscany without the rain and the last one from Lago di Bolsena):
By the way – making my way up north also makes me witness some changes along the way. Like the price of a coffee trippeling (from 0.30€ to 1€) and the price of camping space doubling (from 10€ to 20€ for one person and one tent). Also the honking got a lot less (and not as smooth anymore, but more like the Austrian-honking-version) and since I passed Rome, also the size of the cars has changed drastically: now they are big again (I still see my favourite Fiat Panda in turquoise at least once a day, but the average car size is normal or to big, not made for tiny Italian hill towns). On top of that, ever since I crossed the “borders” of Tuscany I have crossed a few other cycling-travellers (and almost none before). They only seem to go the “other way” though and most of them have 1-2 bags, none of the ever carried a tent and I therefore guess their trips are rather short (or way more exclusive than mine). Ah – and one other very important thing that has changed (and that I already miss a little): “crossing” road-cyclist down south was always connected with them raising one hand of the handle bar and yelling a loud “CIAO” across the street, followed by a “thumbs up”. Now unfortunately it is rare they say anything at all (I blame it on “them” being tourists rather than Italian:-)).
Talk to you soon! Eva fährt weiter….