92km Pacengo to Calliano
Today we played the Italian tourist, pedalling along the shore of Lake Garda along with the masses of other visitors. The towns we passed through offered an odd mixture of posh cafés, expensive boutiques and, at the same time, shops selling inflatable pool toys and cheesy souvenirs. We enjoyed it though as we hit the many bike paths along the water’s edge, stopping quite often to window shop. We refrained from buying any Lake Garda tea towels or postcards but Andrew did pick up a new pair of underwear in a street market and very fine ones they were too, in always-fashionable black. There you have it, the excitement of our everyday lives! The further north we got up the lake the less touristy it became, although “less touristy” is a bit of a relative term. The traffic calmed down and there were no amusement parks but overall the area was still busy with people out for a Friday stroll. We got a bit of a shock at the end of Lake Garda – a big hill! We’d had a flat run all along the lake so we weren’t prepared for the hike that awaited us. That sounds silly since we are, after all, going in the direction of the Dolomite mountains and they will involve quite a bit of steep climbing but we’d been told it was flat for another 100km or so. Overall it probably is quite level but suffice it to say that we sweated getting away from Lake Garda and on the right path towards Trent, Bolzano and the Dolomites. We were quite pleased at the end of the day to find a cycle path and a very well paved and marked one at that. One of the path’s tunnels under a road offered us shelter as the rain poured down and, with a lack of any other options, we ended up camping on the edge of the trail. It’s not our ideal wild camping spot, with really no cover to hide us from passersby, but with no cars on the trail and very few cyclists we reckon it’s fairly safe.