Ok, this business of 120 char tweets is driving me crazy. We’re going to try using the blog instead to allow prose and complex retrospective reality to come a hair closer together. Even if we are typing with only one finger.
We are at the end of week one. An amazing thing about bicycle touring is that so many things happen in one day, that every week feels like a month. Every day, a week.
Here are some of the important things to say:
1. Italy may be the best place in the world to ride a bike. The roads are good, but more importantly, the drivers are amazing in their attitude toward bikes. They are patient and careful and don’t pass until they can give us a wide berth.
2. This Italian camping thing is crazy-good. Can you imagine staying five minutes from the beach in Sausalito with an ocean view for only $25? That was us in Lerici night before last. (Dove stiamos in Lerici due notti fa.)
3. Bicycle touring will help you learn italian. We have to talk to people A LOT. Plus, they want to talk to us about our giro d’ italia de sei setimane. In Castelnuovo di Garfagnana a woman curious about the bikes was thrilled to discover that it was two *women* who had dragged those trailers over the apuane alps – ended our exchange by slapping me on the butt repeatedly: bella! brava! bella! brava! The same happened to Kath near Radicci pass.
4. It’s hard to climb a couple ‘a mountain ranges and still make it on time for dinner. Lunch is from 11 to 1 and dinner isn’t until 7 or 8. We are constantly rolling into town in that 6 hour gap, famished. We might make it to lunch if we get a really early start but nothing opens for breakfast until after 7. If we aren’t going to come home knowing nothing about italian cuisine except pizza, we’ll need to work out the food timing issue.
4. We are squeaking by on a combined budget of $100 per day ($50 each) but it’s tight. No way it would be possible without the camping. Any meals eaten sitting down really push the limits. Gelato and cappucini are so cheap however, that you couldn’t consume enough of them to challenge the budget. Which is a good thing, since we can’t seem to get enough cappucino or gelato. While standing.
5. A day spent ascending an 18% grade will make all lesser grades, say of 13%, feel like a picnic. Thank you, Radicci Pass.
6. The Garfagnana and the Cinque Terre are among the most challenging and most beautiful terrain we have ever ridden. Make us tell you about these places when we return but first determine the limit of your personal tolerance for photos of colorfol villages perched on mountainsides. Or perhaps you’d enjoy seeing all 1000?
7. 29 degrees celcius may sound refreshing… perhaps October will be the tiniest bit gentler?
We’re off to Florence in the morning. There might be another opportunity for affordable Internet access there, but no guarantees. At $14/hr, it pretty much boils down to a matter of eat or tweet.