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    • Day 7

      Day seven. Four seasons in one day

      April 2, 2022 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

      Today's story is all about the ride. You'll understand why when you read it. Hardly any photos for the same reason.

      When I first set out on this adventure I chose to leave home when I did because the weather looked good for the next few days in UK France and Italy. I knew that as the days progressed it would be less predictable and setting off in March is risky at the best of times. I've been lucky because I hear at home it was minus 4 last night and the areas in the Alps I rode through in plus 20c are now once again covered in snow.

      I watched the weather forecast this morning which came on the dining room TV while I ate breakfast.
      The symbols suggested wind plus thunder and lightning but then it all changed to sunshine everywhere so I decided to believe that as I couldn't understand the pretty lady explaining it.
      Looking out the window it was beautiful, a bit breezy with not a cloud in the sky, so I dressed for warm weather with just a thin sweatshirt. This turned out to be a big mistake.
      Today I'm using my phone and Google maps as my guide so the phone is in the cradle in the centre of the handlebars.
      Not long after I set off the cross wind started to increase in strength. It got stronger and stronger until it was so windy even turning my head was difficult. I'd slowed down but it didn't seem to make any difference. After an hour I stopped for a coffee and had to park the bike in a way it wouldn't get blown over.
      Eventually either the wind changed direction or I did as it became a lot easier. Throughout this super strong wind the bike never faltered it just stayed at whatever I set the cruise control and the only time the wind made it drift a little was when I came out from overtaking big trucks. I on the other hand was being buffeted as if I was being hit. I couldn't keep my head still.
      It eventually stopped blowing so hard and for the next couple of hours it was lovely but as I turned inland I could see black clouds over the hills which span the foot of Italy.
      They got darker and darker and the temperature began to drop quickly as I approached so I stopped and swapped to my thicker waterproof gloves and put my thin over jacket on top of the motorcycle jacket. What I should have done was also put on something else under the jacket.
      I set off and sure enough soon it started raining so I pulled into a service station and stopped again. After a coffee it was still raining so I had to put my mobile phone in a plastic bag and put it in the mount so I could still see it. As the sky got darker it was easier to see as I set the brightness to max.
      Then the heavy rain came, I was ok nothing was getting through so I carried on. The temperature dropped from 16 in the morning to 7 and the rain turned into hail.
      In my bag a have a heated vest and how I wished I'd had it on. It was still a bit windy and I was getting cold. First I turned on the heated grips then I turned on the heated seat in the vain hope that some of the heat might enter the rest of my via my backside and to be honest I think it did.
      As I came out the other side of Italy the rain stopped and the wind died so the last half hour was normal but I was still cold.
      The hotel is lovely and warm, the bike is once again in a cosy underground carpark and I'm in a very nice room in the roof. The bad weather I rode through is now here. The wind is howling and there is a huge industrial bin moving up the street unaided. My room looks over the sea which is very rough, the waves must be more than three meters high as the crash down the beach. Before it got quite as bad as it is now I went for a quick walk and took a couple of photos.
      Tomorrow is another day and I will wait and see what it brings before making plans.
      If it is horrible I'll just stay here as I haven't booked anything. I could possible make it to Malta but I don't want another 6 hour ride especially if it is like today's and Sicily is such a lovely place. The forecast is for rain. We shall see.
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    • Day 8

      Day eight. Bad weather stops play.

      April 3, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Listening to the howling wind and lashing rain last night made me consider a day off today. The forecast said it would clear early afternoon and it has but the ferries to Sicily may not be running as the sea is very rough so I'm staying put. I'm not in a hurry. Tomorrow will be much better weather.
      I went for a walk to the only place of interest near here, it's an old tower called Torre. To get to it you walk along the road then down a footpath through a pokey tunnel under the railway then alongside the autostrada, climbing all the way. I'm not selling this very well am I.
      The view is nice once you get there.
      Tomorrow should be more interesting.
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