Mirimare to Portogruaro 109km
To Lido Di Venezia 65km
Today I reached the most northerly point of my global adventure cycle, turning south at Carviginano del Fruili, and hoping it might start getting warmer. My original plans, which included cycling through Pakistan over the KKH (look it up), into China, took me a lot further north, through Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and above the Arctic Circle in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The whole trip, NZ to NZ, was going to take four years and eight months, but Juliet reckoned that was just a little too long to be away. "Cut it in half" were her instructions, hence the 900 days I'm using as "time permitted". And she was right. I'm happy to be heading towards home after 600 days, and very happy not to heading north at this time of the year. I want Warm.
Wow its great to be dealing with Euros. I don't fully understand them yet, but skipping through ten countries in the last five weeks, each of them with a different currency, was a bit taxing on this ol' fellah. A guy I met in Turkey, told me that I should make an effort to learn some basic words in each language of the countries I visit. Maybe "please", "thankyou", "hello", "goodbye". I told him that's okay if you're only visiting a couple of countries, but I struggle figuring out the money of each, so learning ten different languages would stretch me well beyond comfort, and brain power.
I'm feeling really comfortable in Italy. Things fell familiar. Maybe it's because I've been here before, but so much of the language feels familiar. Pizza, spaghetti, macaroni, pasta, sushii, giardia, vino, all roll off my tongue with ease. Delicious hot chocolate and fresh berry muffins roll across my tongue quickly. Fresh, crusty bread and thick pasta sauce add to my comfort levels. Yes, it feels great.... Hmmmm. ..did you notice almost all of the things that make it feel comfortable and familiar are food? It's just a cycle tourist thing......
The cycling is fun as well. The traffic is considerate, understanding and patient with cyclists, and many small towns and villages have cycle lanes. Today, cycling along a narrow road, I heard the soft touch of brakes behind me. I looked and there, in a queue, waiting to pass me were five trucks, three buses and half a dozen cars. I stopped and let them pass. No swearing. No loud horn honking. No loud engine noises. Just friendly waves, and thank you toots as they all past. Yep, so far, I'm enjoying Italy.
I'm heading towards Venice, the back route, because the main road is a motorway. Wonderful country lanes through vino country, alongside canals. Mint cycling conditions. And then the separated cycle lanes through the towns.... couldn't be better. I arrive at a ferry terminal......"But Sir, you cannot take your bicycle to Venice." "What?" "It is not allowed. You will be fined by the Police." "What? But I have a reservation at a hostel." "No problem, but NO bicycle." Damn. Fiona and I are staying at a Hotel on Lido Di Venezia, andd not at a hostel closer to the island of Venice. It's going to be very strange seeing the sites of Venice without her. For so long I had pictured the photos......