May - July 2017
  • Day59

    Somma Lombardo

    July 26, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Spent the morning cleaning, dismantling and getting the bikes in the boxes - so far so good.
    We felt we needed to reward our hard work, so off to Osteria Pane Vino for lunch. Risotto with zucchini and cheese was excellent. Chicken, eggplant, tomato, cheese stack and Pat's 'burger' also very nice. Choc lava pudding very very good! Nice wine also and good coffee too. Mmmm!
    Panoramic drive along Ticino River and home to finish packing.
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  • Day58

    Mezzegra to Somma Lombardo

    July 25, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Beautiful drive along Lago Di Como. Morning coffee and cake in tiny little Piazza with a view over the lake ( fountain decorated with bronze pigeons ).
    Spot of shopping (Handbag), lunch and the search for bike boxes begins.
    Our host at The B&B Casa Gea suggested we try Intersport, so we set off again at around 6.30 and scored 2 decent boxes, if slightly shorter and narrower than normal.
    Take-away pizza for dinner. Feeling more at ease now we have some bike boxes.
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  • Day57

    Bergamo to Mezzegra, via Bellagio

    July 24, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Via Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo (an alleged Marian apparition, declared the patroness of cyclists) and Bellagio.

  • Day54

    Bergamo 1

    July 21, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Rest day today. Caught up on the housework, visited Tourist Info and explored our local area, just at the edge of the Puoto Nuovo, the UNESCO world heritage area.
    Note to self - fried herbs & prusciutto go really well with pasta.
    Headed up to the old town. We walked along the amazing Venetian city walls - hugely thick complex of defences. Looks like it will stand forever. We climbed up through Castle Vigilio, past the 11th century Bishops chapel and in through the duomo. Not a space had been left unembellished.
    Lunch in Piazza Vecchia was followed by a wander through the lovely old streets, full of enticing food and clothing shops.
    Another funicular - the San Vigilio- took us upwards again to the Bergamo hills. Beautiful views with lovely villas perched on the hillside overlooking Bergamo.
    Nice spot for a wine and some cheese and olives!
    Pat rode. Bit hot for me - I just pottered.
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  • Day53

    Gavirate to Bergamo via Como

    July 20, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    After an early morning swim in Lago di Varese, at Gavirate, we headed into Como for a quick look. Nice city and the lakefront was very like Lago Maggiore. After a forgettable lunch opposite the cathedral, the heat was building, so we decided it was time to push on to Bergamo.
    On the way, our Italian sim kicked in and we had Internet again, which was very fortunate because we were able to identify a Bunnings-like hardware store on the outskirts of Bergamo, where Eric was able to buy a much needed gas fitting for the comping car.
    With his usual professionalism, Eric drove us all the way in to our hostel in the centre of Bergamo and sad farewells were said. Thanks for your wonderful hospitality guys and good luck. Travel safely to Sweden and Australia.
    After a bit of a clean up, we headed around the block for a very pleasant meal of pasta, scallopini al limone and the chefs dessert selection (cafe gourmand, in french).
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  • Day51

    Claro to Maccagno

    July 18, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Bike path to Bellinzona. Called at tourist office for ferry timetable. Alas, no ferries to Luino or Macagno. Looks like we are riding after all.
    Bicycle tour guide overheard our questions to the tourist office and kindly described the best route to Macagno.
    As it turned out, we followed a good bike path all the way to Lago Maggiore. The lake is busy with holidays on -swimmers, boats etc. Fortunately, it was lunchtime and the lake road was relatively quiet. We rode across the Swiss-Italian border onto an even better road. After a few kms an old roadie jumped on the front and drafted us nearly all the way to Macagno, where we meet up with Karen & Eric.
    Lunch, drinks, swim in the lake, Ice-creams and the afternoon was gone. Stayed overnight at the free camping platz.
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  • Day50

    Gotthard Pass to Claro.

    July 17, 2017 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Wow, what a ride. Among our best ever.
    Today's ride included almost every cycling condition I can think of, with the exception of rain - climbing & descending, bitumen, 12km of cobblestones -3 up & 9 down, gravel and one-track, busy traffic, no traffic, headwinds, crosswinds and even briefly a tailwind.
    It was the highest altitude we've ever ridden at and the biggest descent we've ever done. We dropped about 1850mts in height today. And the road has to be seen to be believed. Most of the descent was on cobblestones. Thank heavens we were on touring bikes and not road bikes like some. Everyone was taking it slow and careful, even the smattering of motor bikes making the descent.
    After we reached Airolo, the descent was a gentle downhill, alongside the most picturesque mountain steam, for the rest of the day.
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