An early start today with someone banging on the door as an early wake up call at 06.00am. The alarm was set anyway and Ginge had been awake for a while, so there was no chance of oversleeping. The crossing had been calm and the gentle rocking motion had certainly worked and helped with a great night’s sleep.
Up, showered, dressed, had coffee and we were ready to disembark. Going through customs was amusing, with a bus driver trying to switch lanes, he was red faced and acting like a typical Italian. He was very het up with arms waving like a windmill and shouting his disgust at whoever was listening, lol. The customs guards just stood and looked at him and turned away to put him in his place as they ignored him.
The route out of Ancona was congested, it was busy with lots of aggressive riders blasting down lines of traffic. Seemingly having no regard to their own lives, forcing into spaces that weren’t even there!
As our route took us inland the scenery changed, lots of arable land, crops either side of the road and quaint little villages. It was a very beautiful ride but the roads for 70% of the time were awful. Certainly no EU money spent in these parts, or the Italian government have hired a load of Gypo’s to tarmac the roads.
The day was going really well and we stopped for a coffee and a bite to eat as breakfast was a little ropey on the boat. The mid morning break coincided with a fuel stop. Two cups of coffee later we were ready to head off again but Deeds told us he’d need to peel off and head straight for the motorway to ensure an even acceleration, to save further damage to his drive shaft bearing.
As we continued towards Tuscany the roads started to improve, the weather was warming up and the scenery was undulating and very pretty. The roads were twisty as they followed the contours of the land, lots of sweeping corners and a lovely ride in the late morning sun.
Vineyards either side of the road, a very warm and humid temperature. You can see why the wine in this region is so good. The weather was getting warmer and we starting to flag a little bit, we soon decided on a lunch break. We had less than 100 miles to ride and stopped at the next restaurant, which was full of local workers.
The place was jam packed, really busy and we were asked if we wanted red or white wine with our lunch! We had 6 bottles of water between us and the locals said it would be okay to have wine! Obviously we refused but noticed bottles of wine on every table.
The food was very rustic, in fact very tasty and also cheap. We’ve had a laugh for most of the trip regarding cost, as most places we have been paying just €20 per person per meal, including tip. The odd meal has been a little more expensive, but on a whole we’ve eaten really well for a good cost.
The afternoon was pretty much the same as late morning, until we reached 50 kms from Pisa. Then we took a dual carriageway to get us in on the quickest route. As we arrived we found Deeds had beaten us there by an hour or so but hadn’t stopped for lunch. So we unpacked, got into our rooms and met for the all important beer to unwind.
After a couple of beers we went off to shower and change ready for dinner. The hotel had a restaurant, so we decided to stay there to save getting taxis into the city. The food was good and the wine even better, it wasn’t before long that we had finished and ready for an early (ish) night.
A few of us decided to get up at 05.00am the next morning to go and get some happy snaps next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa before the crowds gathered. Oh and we wanted to be as close as possible too. The next day was our day off too and we wanted to have a relaxing day for everyone to unwind, ready for the journey north. The next day’s ride was going to be crap, motorway nearly all the way!