Rapallo to Genova 51km
To Finale Ligure 72km
To San Remo 75km
The new cycle touring season must have begun. After several months of not meeting cycle tourers, in the last two days we have met four different groups, heading east. It's great to know we are not alone.
The adventures continue, but not all are on the road. Juliet and I decided to watch the sunset from the roof top terrace in Corniglia. No problem. It was stunning, if not a little breezy, so she didn't have her book and wine. The best of the sunset is done and we are ready to return to our warm room...... but the door to the roof has been closed and locked. There is no other way off the terrace. Damn. This happened to us in Las Vegas a few years ago....... Some loud knocking on walls, doors and windows, and eventually a grumpy Italian opens the door for us....."The Terrace is closed in the winter....."
We arrive in Genova. Juliet is keen to sort her train ticket back to Roma. That goes well, but it has been a tough day. A steady climb earlier on, a fantastic downhill, where I managed to zoom past a couple of road cyclists.... they were not happy seeing a loaded touring bike and trailer passing them, and some tricky navigation, through heavy traffic, to find the railway station, so we were both pretty weary, after only 51km. But while Ju was sorting her ticket, I'd done some homework, and located some cheap hotels. Yep, they were in a very narrow, dark back street. Yep, there were heaps of Africans and Asians, and a few dodgy looking Italians hanging out, but these were prime one star establishments, far superior to what I've been used to. I have to admit, I wasn't too comfortable. So we moved one street over.
Ju checked a room out, in a hotel on the third floor. She was happy, so we loaded all the panniers into the lift. I carried two bikes and the trailer up the stairs to the hotel..... but where is Juliet with all the bags? She's on the wrong floor. The hotel is on the third floor if you climb the stairs. It's on the second floor if you use the lift! Ju is lost....... sorry, confused.
I've ridden 35,000km as of today, through over 30 countries. I'm a little more aggressive through traffic than Juliet, well not aggressive, I just seem to be able to pass through traffic easier than she does. It takes a while to tune in to traffic conditions. So Ju is not always happy with my cycling style. I think she reckons I'm leaving her behind. But I would never do that. I'm very much enjoying having her with me. Her stay is just far too short.
We are camping on a small ledge above the sea, 30m from the road. There is no traffic noise, as the road passes through a tunnel. There have been several over the last couple of days. There have also been several sections of cycle trail. One really nice section was an old disused railway line, passing directly along the coast. It has been converted to a cycle and walking trail, with lots of tunnels and bridges, amazing views, and best of all, no traffic hassles. Every day in Italy, new experiences, and new adventures.
It's Saturday, so there are heaps of cyclists on the road, but today there seem to be even more than usual. We stop for a short break, and a policeman approaches us. He has seen my NZ Silver Fern and wants to talk about the All Blacks. He tells us that tomorrow, Sunday, there is a race for non professionals. 3000 riders are expected. We are glad we will be off the road.
We meet yet another couple of cycle tourers heading east. They are from Spain, and heading to Australia, and perhaps NZ. They tell us of the great cycleway, 15km of it, through tunnels and along the coast all the way into San Remo. We find it, and it's fantastic, and busy with cyclists, walkers and skaters. And so Juliet's cycling is over. We now have two days of RnR before she jumps on the train to Rome, and flys home. Damn.