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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ride and a post card

Hi Guys,
There is a ride on Sunday morning 9am.
I received a note from our foreign correspondant the other day...

Dear all
Matera seems so long ago! Headed to the coast from Matera through the hills. Lots of climbing now on quiet roads and no rain. The troops were not happy with all the climbing up to hilltop towns and then loosing all the altitude gain. I have now started drinking the coffee otherwise I miss the best part of brekky. We don't start particulary early, few k's on the board by 10am generally. Tuesday 25th we went trough Otenza for lunch and spent a very frustrating hour and a half getting out the other side. Had a downhill into the wide valley, crossed the autostrada and then into the hills again for a solid afternoon of climbing. We followed the tourist road to Satriano were we eventually found a b&b. Downhill start to the next day before climbing from Atena into the fantastic national park del Cilento and Valley di Diano. This was followed by 20+k's of downdowndown, with beautiful views across the valley. No accom at Roccadaspide but found the Panorama with views to the west coast a few k's further. Big hotel with just the three of us staying.
Thursday we criused down to the coast and visited Paestum an ancient greek settlement south of Salerno. Three very substantial temples. On busy roads to Salerno and the youth hostel for the night as we prepared for the Amalfi coast. Decided an early brekky was the go, even so we didn't beat the traffic. The Amalfi coast is terrific to visit but narrow busy roads take away from the enjoyment and doing it in a day is not doing it justice. Somehow we made it all the way to Pompei (94k) in one piece.
We spent Saturday looking at the ruins and being disappointed that there were not much in the way of frescos to be seen. Headed off midarvo to do the 25k to Naples to meet Noel. That would be 25k of cobblestones, Napolese drivers and Pilgrims who were headed in their thousands to Pompei. Found the station, found Noel and found a hotel all in quick order, unusual for a city of any size, Italians aren't really into signs!
Train to Arezzo in Tuscany took most of the day after looking around Naples for Sophia Loren (didn't find her) but we did find lots and lots of frescos in the museum.From Arrezzo we rode to Siena, a hilly 78k, camped and then walked into town for a coffee in the famous piazza. Florence was next on the list and we found some soft ground in the camping ground and being Florence it did rain, after we came out of the Uffizza. Found the same internet point that we used in 2007 with the same American running it. Noel left to take the train back to Rome.
Next was the big one - Lucca and its famous walls. Hard to find accom but eventually got a b&b. Walked around the walls on the way to tea. Next morning did the ride just to please Trivess and had an American walk out into my big and break the pannier mounting which I fixed with zip ties. Peter Ginn had already headed to the Cuinque Teera while we were going to tackle the ski pass of From Bologna we were in the flat country to Ravenna, Ferrara the Oriana (Venice) Just under 300k's in three days. Now they are complaining about flat rides
Back into Venice today and La Traviata tonight
cheerio til next time


A good crop of Canola on the Audax, Mallee Routes ride a couple of years ago. Shame about the weed.

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