94km Bolzano to Roverto
After days of complaining about the rain and cold temperatures, now we can comment on the exact opposite. What a difference in the weather since we descended from the Alps, through Italy’s German speaking South-Tirol region and into the start of the plains that surround the Po river valley. It’s no longer chilly and wet but hot and humid and we are gulping water in large quantities as we fly along the wonderfully kept bike paths in the area. Today we truly flew, even though we didn’t have the advantage of yesterday’s long downhill stretch. Instead we had the company of an Italian going in same direction. Mareno was carrying a quarter of the luggage we have so he set a quick pace and we had to work to keep up with him. Mareno will also stick in our minds for his amazing skill of using one hand to look up words in his English-Italian dictionary while using the other hand to steer, keeping up a steady speed of well over 25km an hour and managing to avoid other cyclists coming towards us on the path. This feat trumps the Dutch cyclists and their trick of biking in pairs, arms wrapped around each other. To Mareno and his bike skills, we have to say complimenti! We stayed together until the town of Trento, where we all got ice cream cones and then carried on our separate ways. A fierce headwind blew up in the afternoon and we found ourselves stopping often to get out of the wind and the sun. After quite a distance we managed to come across a bench in the shade and happily grabbed it for a long snooze and supper. Since there are no campsites in this area at all – nothing, in fact, between Bolzano and Verona – we had no choice but to find a field as a home for the night. On the bike path this is easy and once dusk falls there are rarely any people out at all since the path isn’t lit. Unfortunately the motorway runs near the path so we do have traffic noise from just across the river to put up with, but on the upside we have a huge field all to ourselves and even though we are only just outside Roverto there are no houses in the immediate area, only grapevines and apple orchards.