3,870km down: 2,355km to go
Everyone woke up a bit jaded due to the lack of sleep! We are all looking forward to it being a rest day tomorrow.
We set off with the knowledge we had a 56k climb before lunch. I was a bit apprehensive but it was actually ok. It was up, up, up, but just when you thought you could not pedal another inch it would go up for another couple of minutes and then you’d get a downhill. I got to lunch ok, and thought it was all downhill from there, but after one downhill we started going up again, a quite steep hill but thankfully this was the last significant up of the day.
Up until lunch at 58k it was quite quiet, we went through some nice sleepy towns straight after lunch and then we went through a tunnel. When we came out on the other side it was like going into another universe. We came into a town called Galieta, it was chaos. Narrow streets, people having coffee sitting outside shops, vans, cars, dogs, shops, it was very busy – they must have been all getting the shopping done before the siesta.
The houses were perched on the hillside, one house I could see was five stories high but very narrow. In the distance on top of the hills you see old castles. We rode through the small villages also of Moranego, Sella, Villamezana, and Canassolo. Unfortunately my camera was flat so I don’t have any photos.
My speed coming down hills is slowly improving, and I’m getting better at cornering as well. Still to break my record of 56kph though. Some of the turns on the downhill were quite tight, and there were cars and trucks in both directions.
When we got down into Genoa I could not believe all the motorbikes and scooters, they were everywhere and they don’t appear to either know or follow any kind of road rules. Riding a bike through these cities takes a bit of nerve and faith – faith that the drivers will not actually hit you. I have learnt you have to move into the traffic with hand signals but don’t stop to turn and look at the drivers because if you look at them they know you’ve seen them and they won’t give way – even when they should! Coming into a busy intersection and going through without making eye contact is not an action to repeat at home, but it’s the only option here!
We are staying at the Hermitage Hotel, it’s not as flash as it sounds, but there is air conditioning, no noisy partying families, and a comfortable bed – even if it is single.
I tried to post the box home but guess what – Genoa post offices are shut all Friday afternoon! So my first stop was laundry, then we went out to tea at a nice seaside restaurant, I can’t remember the name – Osterio something! The Wifi is patchy at the hotel so I am not sure how much I will get done on emails. Yay, we have a sleep-in in the morning.