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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spot the Aussies

Hi gang, her's another email from Andy and Glo...

Rode north out of Rome last Thursday to Lake Bracciano and camped the night. A few lycra lizards on the road but few cyclists. Camping ground only just opened and fairly basic, but did the job. Next day tackled the hills between Bracciano and Civvitavecchia. Hard work and cold and rainy. After lunch it was all downhill which gave us a long wait for the overnight ferry to Palermo. Ferry trip smooth, more room in the seats to stretch out than on a plane. Reached Palermo around 8am on the Saturday morning - no tourist info available. Had a bit of a ride around, Peter pulling front pannier off after running into a parked car and Glo just missing a rubbish skip (well it was a small one). Very gusty wind which was behind us for most of the next week.
Left Palermo before anything else happened and headed along the northern coast (inland mountains looked a bit daunting). Narrow roads, lots and shops and buildings right on the road and lots of traffic. Made it to lovely camping ground at Cefalu thaT NIGHT - ABOUT 70K'S. Sorry about the caps! Generally headed east along the coast over the next few days dodging cars and rain. Even the coast road has lots of hills and they seem harder with panniers front and rear. From Milazzo we took the ferry to the Eolian Island of Lipari and camped at Canneto near the beach. World heritage listed and what a delight, more views per k than anywhere else I have seen. Did the Giro di Lipari all 30 k of up and down before our gelati in the old town centre of lipari.
Next day back on the ferry to Milazzo and then continued our ride to the east, camping about 20k's from Messina. Battled our way to Messina through rain and hills to wait in the rain for the ferry to cross the straits to Reggio di calabria. Another run down Italian town without the huge piles of rubbish that made Sicily so smelly. Rode out of Reggio but had to turn back as we ran out of accomadation options. Have now found a terrific b&b in the centre
Andy and glo

The above email did not send due to faulty mouse in the b&b in Reggio di calabria. Had a great meal there and really nice people in the b&b. Back on the bikes the next day to head into the real country finally. Lovely quiet roads and great scenery - olive trees and crops being farmed rather then let go wild as in Sicily (and no rubbish). Near Alberbello and the Trulli stone houses I stopped to check the map and heard someone call - a couple of people noticed us go past and wanted to share their cherry tree (yes Siobhan, I have scored another cherry season!) The girl had grown up in Canada and her partner was very enthusiastic in showing us the inside of their Trulli. They invited us back for the Inter Milan-Madrid match that night but we decided it would be too late. Camped the night and headed to Matera the next day. Getting hillier although we are coping, some of the climbs are getting longer and steeper. Matera is a town where the houses are built literally on top of each other and their roofs become roads. They have a very sophisticated way of harvesting water and groups of residents sharing their lives. Another b&b, this time in a restored 800+ year old house.
Breakfast on the terrace before tackling some more hills heading to the west. Lots of wind turbines and solar panel installations.
We are planning to meet Noel in Salerno for the weekend and riding the Amalfi coast then maybe Pompeii as well.
Glo and Pete are off looking at churches. Churches here are actually used for mass and often smell of incense. I'm not sure if I told the story of bumping into the parish priest in Cantana on Lipari. Not only did he bless me he told us he had a cousin in Australia and did we know Bob Santamaria!
I'm going to check the weather (just stopped rainning and the afl ladder)
cheerio for now

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