The trip from Australia to Rome is a really long way and the stopover in Dubai seems to far if not exotic. Watching the flights arrive and depart from places like Tehran, Entebbe and Kuwait give the place a surreal feel. When I left Dubai the route was over to Africa then Cairo and crossing Crete which sounded impossibly faraway. I landed in Rome at 1:30pm and then had to get my bike from the oversized luggage department along with my 13 kg of backpack. They specially hire the grumpiest people to work in the oversized luggage department no matter the country I think. After that it was a trip to the hotel I’d booked for the evening. My head was completely dull from from the hours cooped up in the plane and all I ate was some pasta with an Italian beer. My senses were entirely dead to everything I tried to plan so things were left to the next day with the vague idea it would work out.
Miraculously they did and I got my ticket for Part B of the journey and worked out how to board, store the bike and enjoy the comfort of the high speed train for the Part A to Florence.
It was then the final leg of an exhausting journey that I’d almost given up on in weeks before, when I’d crashed my bike and injured myself in Warrandyte. Instead of Florence to Pisa I took the direct, slow Lucca train where I had a couple of adventures, that’s travel.
But here I was in Italy and now at The Off Season Recovery Camp. The place I’m staying has a very tranquil spirit with a beautiful view of some high mountains, bella vista. Something to inspire every cyclists’ heart.
I got worn down on the way over here with lack of sleep and had been fighting with a cold before taking the flight. Now I have a full on cold. Stuff happens. Mine host, signora Francesca made me a green tea and lemon combo. Really good.
I’ve done a few short rides here and am getting to understand the geography of the parts.
This whole month Lucca has a festival for music (Puchini was born here), open air films, running and other stuff. Two local bike riders have contacted me, offering to show me rides they do in the region. Getting better first is the main thing. So I’m excited if not a little worn down. Below I’ll post some pictures from my journey so far.