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Cycling Italy Day 7-The End of The Road

July 26th-Brescia, Italy to Cremona, Italy (58.2km)

Harriet and Waldorf takin' a break

Our target destination for the day was Cremona, Italy but we had received varying levels of confidence from random Brescian people that we had asked, about whether a bike path existed.

The lady at the tourism office was super nice and even pointed out that in the brochure she was showing us, they had used a picture of her cycling. The only trouble was that the tourism offices are very regional in Italy so they didn’t have a map for us that went beyond the province of Brescia. This took us to the nearest town outside of Cremona, but it meant that we didn’t have a visual for how we would make it into the city on the paths. It would have to be good enough!

It took about 30 minutes to make our way out of the city of Brescia but once we got moving, we found ourselves riding along a deserted little road that intersected the country corn fields. Looking back on this part of our cycling tour we had both commented that the path was most varied on this leg of the journey.

Breaking up the fields, we would run into small, deserted little towns where all the shutter doors were closed and not a soul could be seen on the streets-a huge difference from riding out of the big city of Brescia! Then in the afternoon, we entered a nature reserve and our path became a gravel trail following along the Po River and it’s lush, tropical river banks. That was definitely my favourite part of the day!

This old fella showed brought us into town, but I think he was the only one there!

Eyeing up the bike path

Calm before the storm

 

 

At the end of the nature trail we found ourselves once again without a sign or any indication of where to go next. This never, ever happened when we were in South Tyrol and it was rather frustrating. We knew the general direction that should get us into Cremona so we headed that way.

 

I’ll put these next moments on fast forward:

We entered a highway instead of a secondary road and there was next to nothing for a shoulder…

My heart was beating a mile a minute and we are both hoping that we had just a short time on this road until we would see the sign for the bike path again and could veer off to calmer waters…

No such sign appears.

Finally, a semi passes me and honks it’s horn, scaring the bejesus out of me. I take this as a clear sign that we should not be cycling on this road and yell ahead at Skott that we have to get off this.

Luckily, a gas station appears ahead and we manage to pull over. I throw my bike helmet off in a fit of rage and dramatically tell Skott that only people who want to die would be silly enough to be on that road. I’m so mad that our bike path disappeared and let us down.

Enter a young Italian on the scene who comes rolling into the gas station with a service van. Perfect! I make my way over and using my nicest smile, explain that my husband and I are stuck at the gas station because we cycled from Brescia and now the road is not good for us to continue into the city. I don’t think he understands a word I say, but he picks up on the charades that went with it and within a few minutes, our bikes are in his van and the three of us are packed in the front seat, driving into Cremona. (Carly-I was the one riding “bitch” haha)

Our friend dropped us off just a few minutes away from the couch surfer’s home that we had arranged to stay at for the night. We offered him some cash, at least to buy himself a beer, but he declined and wished us well before he took off.

As crazy as that last hour was, our evening in Cremona ended on a high note. Our Couchsurfing hosts, Serena and Diego, were really fabulous. They had just got home from work when we arrived and proceeded to cook us up a proper Italian meal. We started with pasta in a tomato and zucchini sauce. I forgot again that pasta is always just the first course, so I was surprised when thin slices of tender beef came next on our plates along with a salad of tomato and big pieces of buffalo mozzarella. Skotty and Diego somehow still had room for gelato! We were thrilled to have enjoyed our
first home cooked Italian meal-with some great new friends!

Us with our CS hosts: Serena & Diego

Total Distance Cycled to Date: 388.2km

All good things must come to an end they say…

We awoke the next morning and had a decision to make. Although we were still at least 100kms away from any troubles the Alps could cause us, we did realize that although this tour was an incredible one, it is destined to be only a small part of our RTW adventures. There were many other incredible experiences awaiting, and both Skott and I were so happy with what we had accomplished so far!

And so, just like that…we went into the nearest internet cafe in Cremona, and booked ourselves (and our bikes) a whirlwind train journey across the border to Narbonne, France and the Mediterranean Sea!

Stay tuned…more adventures – COMING SOON!!!

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2 Responses to “Cycling Italy Day 7-The End of The Road”

  1. Kyle August 17, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    It looks like one of those is taking while you’re actually bike riding? How is that possible! I’d die if I tried to do that!

    • Skott and Shawna August 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      Oh I am sure you could do it if you tried Kyle! :)
      Don’t sell yourself short!

      Thanks for reading…

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