Posts Tagged With: Markets

Day 10: Trieste to Maniago

123 km: 800 meters up and 430 down

This is the start of another four day section, and this was the easiest of the four days.

Instead of having to take notes from a whiteboard like previous trips, this trip we get them passed out in their already printed version. Some riders pour over them, highlighting certain bits, others – like me – shove them in their pocket to be taken out if needed if there is confusion about which way to go.

We started at 8am with a convoy, which was meant to be for 4 km but after 1.5 km most of the convoy was out of sight due to having to stop at the lights. As Gergo doesn’t flag or give notes for the convoy to ensure riders don’t go off on the their own, it was just by good luck and guessing that we managed to stay on the right track.

The first 18 km was along along the coast, then we turned inward and took the last view of the Adriatic Sea (the top of the Mediterranean). The next time we see the sea we will be in the Netherlands.

We went through a town called Palmanova, which is an excellent example of a star fort from the Renaissance. This was built by the Venetians in 1593. The whole town is walled, and there are only entrances/exits through the walls.


An aerial view of Palmonova (picture source)

This is also where the Trans Europa ride we did in 2012 intersects with this ride, the Oydessy. In 2012, we came through here on the way to Venice.


Walled town of Palmanova, inside the south gate


Cathedral in Palmanova square


North-west gate out of Palmanova, onwards to Amsterdam

There was a big market in the square with lots of stalls selling food, clothes, cooking ware, and lots of fresh flowers.


Market square inside Palmanova


Through the palace gate to the Villa Manin

Where we stopped for lunch there was a man trimming his hedge who was chatting away to all the riders, and telling to make sure that they stopped in the next town Mortegliano to see the biggest bell tower in Europe.



The locals reckon this is the tallest bell tower in Europe, Mortegliano.

One of the TDA staff Ozgur had made homemade lemonade for lunch, which was very thirst quenching. It’s made from lemonade, honey, water and soda water.


In the afternoon the breeze from most of morning was replaced by beating sun, it was 35 degrees C and felt hotter.

There were lots of very long straights, broken up with interesting small towns. All the town were deserted and the shops were shut as it was siesta time.


Beautiful riding today through the agricultural flat lands north of Venice.

Whilst going around a roundabout I was bit/stung by bug (through my riding top!). I wasn’t sure what it was, but took an antihistamine just in case it was a bee or a wasp. Luckily I did, as later that night when I had a look I had a big welt.

The last twenty km of the day seemed to go on and on, a bit of an uphill gradient, and into a bit of head wind.

Although we were riding towards the Dolomites, because of the heat haze we did not get a view of them until about 8 km before the end of the ride, where they slowly started to appear through the haze.


Approaching Maniago and the end of the flatlands. Next 3 days climbing up to Passo del Brennero and entering Austria 🇦🇹

We got to the hotel at 5pm and found out dinner would not be until 8pm. To start off with I could not find my bag anywhere. I looked through the bags twice, and was starting to get really worried. I then went through the bags again, bag by bag. I had never noticed until now that my red bag is actually half black. The bottom half is black and it was upside down. Relieved, I went off to the room to get cleaned up.

The hotel room had a nice big bath so I had a relaxing soak and then I intended to have a quick nap, but ended up sleeping for two hours. I was more tired than I would have expected, as not much climbing, but we had had 9 hours in the sun and although there was not much climbing there was no real downhill, so we were constantly peddling all day.

Dinner was tomato pasta, grilled pork and potato, vanilla ice cream, washed down with sparkling water.  I had dinner with Brett, Miriam, Tom and Cathy.


Tom and Miriam, retired they live in New York, and have 3 sons and one grandson. No pets. This is their 4th TDA tour. Miriam was a lawyer and then taught law, and Tom was an engineer.

Cathy is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She lives with her partner Peggy (who doesn’t like bike touring, so is not on the trip). They have no children and have a German short haired pointer. Cathy has done 2 previous TDA rides and is an ED doctor.


Tom and Miriam on the left, Cathy on the right

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, 130 km and 2600 meters climbing and I am feeling a bit daunted. We are going to be climbing through the Dolomites.

The Dolomites are the mountain range located in north-eastern Italy, and form part of the Southern Limestone alps. The Dolomites are also known by the name The Pale Mountains, they take this name from the carbonate rock dolomite. The rock was named for the 18th century French mineralogist Deodat Gratel de Dolomieu (1750 to 1801) who was the first to describe the mineral.

The Dolomites are renown for skiing, mountain climbing, cycling, and BASE jumping.

The first week in July is the Maratona dles Dolomites, where in a single day, road bikers climb all 7 mountain passes.

Categories: The Odyssey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 73/164: Rest Day One in Cusco

It was nice to wake up and not have to get on a bike. I slept in and got down to breakfast at about 9am. I am feeling not so great so the plan is to take it pretty easy today.

I checked emails and did a couple of updates on the blog. I went to a book shop that sold English books and got a book about the Inca history.

I need get some sandals do had a half-hearted look at a couple of shops. I had a look through the market, it’s really big.

It seems really strange to be back in a place where there are so many non-Peruvian people. This place is a real tourist Mecca. Lots of people come here as part of a tour or to pick up a tour to Machu Puhcu.

I watched some children playing football with a coke bottle and some other children playing with stones. I guess children are children everywhere. There are a number of children playing quietly in the corners where their parents are selling good, paintings, jewellery, hats etc. Everywhere you go you are constantly asked if you want to buy this or that. The sellers don’t follow you down the street though, and they do not actually come inside bars and restaurants. So if you sit at a table outside you are fair game.

I did book a massage for tomorrow, will try anything to unfreeze my neck. I had a hamburger for tea at a pub just round the corner, and then back to the hotel for an early night.

This is what happens when a bunch of cyclists show up and stay in your hotel.   We're in a beautiful little hotel, so what do we do?  Hang our tents and laundry out everywhere to dry.  Honestly, this is a pretty little courtyard (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg's blog)

This is what happens when a bunch of cyclists show up and stay in your hotel. We’re in a beautiful little hotel, so what do we do? Hang our tents and laundry out everywhere to dry. Honestly, this is a pretty little courtyard (Photo and caption credit: Laura and Greg’s blog)

Street hotel in Cusco (the street is the same name as the hotel)

Street hotel in Cusco (the street is the same name as the hotel)

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Day 4: Rest day in Santo Marcos

I woke up about 5am, but I did not want to wake up Sue after her hard ride yesterday, so I happily dozed. Sue woke up about 6:30. While Sue was sorting out her charging stuff I tried out various ways of packing my daily bag to make everything fit better. It has been a struggle each day to get it shut. I have hit on a system that seems to work better.

Sue has 3 medium shortage banks for power plus a small one for the bike and a large one for her lap top . Plus note in the middle a kettle!

Sue has 3 medium storage banks for power, plus a small one for the bike and a large one for her lap top. Plus note in the middle – a kettle!

We went to the hotel for breakfast which was pretty minimal – 3 spoonfuls of scrambled egg and 3 pieces of white bread – luckily it’s not a riding day, that would only get us about 10 kilometres.

After breakfast, Brett, Sue and I had a look around the town. First we went to the lake which was not swimmable, but was interesting to see what was the main dock for the area. It was pretty small, about the size of a small car park. There was a longboat with an outboard motor getting filled up with stores, which it must then deliver to the outlying villages.


Longboat with outboard motor in San Marcos – takes stores to other islands

The loading dock for the long boat

The loading dock for the long boat

The city was filled with motor bikes and bikes again but also a few really old cars. One of first things we saw was a man with 5 chickens handing upside down, it was not until later that I realized they were still alive.

Mother and  Not sure if I would feel confident that my grandchildren would stay on but they are on bikes from babies.

A mother and child on a motorbike, I’m not sure if I would feel confident that my grandchildren would stay on, but here they are on bikes from babies.

One of the friendly locals in San Marcos

One of the friendly locals in San Marcos

The butcher and the fish sellers are on the side of the road. The fish seller had ice under the fish but the meat sellers did not seem to. We stopped and had a puréed watermelon drink with crushed ice which was very refreshing.


Fish seller in San Marcos


Butcher in San Marcos (editors note: I’m not sure what Mum is doing to get such blurry photos!!!)

The locals were very friendly and most were happy to have their photo taken, and often also coming up just to say hello. There were numerous stores selling everything from phones to live chicks.


Chickens for sale

We had lunch in town. We had seen a dog standing hopefully by one of the butchers both times we passed, it was quite thin and Sue – who is a retired Vet – thought it looked like it had eyesight issues. Well, the same dog turned up at our table and stood there hopefully with its head hanging, not begging intrusively. I gave it a scrap and it swallowed it up so quickly that I ended up buying it some food, after which it happily curled up to sleep.


We took a photo of the bike, and a local came along and wanted his photo taken

We then back to the supermarket for more water and some snacks to carry on the bike, after that back to the hotel to update the blog and download photos.


The “House Goods” aisle at the supermarket in San Marcos

I spent the afternoon downloading photos and generally being lazy, it’s too hot to do anything else. A bit daunting to think tomorrow we will be riding in it again.

Tonight a group of us went out to a local grill place, it was great, outside with a breeze. I had the ribs with salad, and something that tasted like solid banana – I gave that away. I am about to go upstairs to pack and get ready for 5 gruelling riding days.

The next 5 days riding look pretty challenging:

Stage 4: San Marcos to Caucasia
Biggest climb is only 105 metres, but 65 kilometres on an off-road dirt track, with the same temperature expected as today. Hopefully there will be better cover.

Stage 5: Caucasia to Alto Ventanas
Climb 2,000 metres taking us to 2,432 metres.
138 kilometres but should be a lot cooler as the day goes on as we climb.

Stage 6: Alto Ventanas to Barbosa
We climb 2,800 metres, but some down as well, overall gain in elevation for the day is 1,800.
119 kilometre ride.

Stage 7: Barbosa to Parque Avir
We climb 2,350, total gain in elevation for the day 2,400.
81 kilometres, 43 off road.

Stage 8: Parque Avi to Medeslin
Climb 2,620 metres, gain 600 metres.
Ride is 49 kilometres, then thankfully a rest day.

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment