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Montenegro 2019 Day 12 – Pisa to Lausanne

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The day was supposed to start quite early but Laura had been I’ll the night before and left us in the restaurant. She was feeling that bad she didn’t even manage the starter or main course! Dad to the rescue, Dave went back to the hotel with her in the taxi to make sure she got back ok.

We had arranged for an 08.00 am engine’s running, but knew we’d be a little later as Laura still wasn’t feeling 100%. At breakfast she managed just a bit of fruit and some water, not really enough for the long day ahead, so we put a contingency plan in place.

If she felt that bad, Dad Dave was going to stay with her and we would continue up into Switzerland. They would then limp up to meet up with us, or find a hotel enroute to stay over, if things became too tough for her. Before we set off, we said our goodbyes to Deeds, as he was waiting to be repatriated by plane with his bike to follow. The AA once again comes up trumps.

The day was going to be hard work, pretty much 400 miles but most of which would be on the motorway until we got close to Switzerland. The journey was warm/hot and it wasn’t long before we were crunching in the miles at a steady 85 mph. The hours trickled by and so did the miles, it was just a tough day sitting in the same position on the Italian toll road.

We stopped for fuel twice enroute and had a coffee break. Also to see how Laura was getting on and make sure she was fed and watered, we obviously didn’t want to split up so we were more than keen to keep them with us.

The route took us up the Mediterranean coast – mountains to the right, way off in the distance to start with but as we made our way inland they were either side of us. There was plenty of farming going on, on the vast open plains with different crops. When we passed certain crops, the visor would be splattered with many flies to serve as a memento.

After the second fuel stop we decided to get off the toll road and aim for the St Bernard’s Pass. A cracking road that looked amazing, we also took the tunnel which is a great piece of engineering. The tunnel had cost us about €15 but was nowhere near as steep as the €53 for the toll road. They certainly saw us coming!

On the pass we stopped for lunch before heading towards lake Leman. We circumnavigated the lake, which by this time was congested and getting hotter by the minute. It seemed like a lifetime of stop start riding around the lake with traffic lights and congestion. It was beautiful but we just wanted the long day to finish.

After checking into the hotel, we had the routine of unloading bikes and meeting up for a beer. It’s always a nice wind-down too and as a group after a day’s riding, a bit of social bonding and chill out. We booked ourselves into an Italian restaurant, as I trained a chap Gualtiero a number of years ago to pass his test in the UK and he now works and lives in Lausanne.

We got there and had a wonderful evening, we were looked after extremely well and had a host that kept us entertained all night. He spent time with us chatting and helping us to select the best food for ourselves. It was more pricey than we’d been paying but the evening was excellent and a great way to help finish off the trip.

We were all tired and heading back to the hotel for a night’s rest before getting up early and heading off at 07.00 before breakfast started. It was going to be a short night as we got to bed well after midnight!

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