Monday, February 18, 2013

Italy - Kindness & October Rain

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Ride fields near Santhia. Photo credit: , Panaramio
50 miles - Monday, October 3

Because of campground closures we decide to inquire about a place approximately fifty miles east before heading out on the road. The night before we’d communicated with a gentleman in French, but now we’re face to face with a woman who only speaks Italian. We utter a few words. Her dark brow lifts and she smiles, pleased with our attempt at her language. She brings us frothy cups of coffee and we sit with her, consult a map, and she helps us decide where to stay that evening. As we roll out she waves and wishes us a good trip, “Buono viaggio!”

Andy at roadside shrine, northern Italy.
The woman’s goodwill casts a glow as Andy and I pedal through misty rain, for once not minding the weather. Through Santhia and Vercelli farming continues and with it traffic increases. Industrial buildings color the horizon. The campground ambassador had forewarned us about congestion as we neared Milan. The rainy month of October and lack of reliable camping tips our decision to check into a train. Leapfrogging closer to Venice, would be the best option. It would allow a day in the city and then head south for warmer, drier climate. Fingers crossed.

Ponte di Turbigo, Galliate, Near campground. Will cross it the following morning.
Photo credit: , Panaramio
The afternoon is humid and Andy comments how he’d be happy if his towel dried out. It’s such a simple need, yet we know by now to remain flexible. By 5 p.m. we roll into a campground northeast of Novara, in Galliate, along the Ticino River. Camping is 25 Lira (17-18 USD), a comparatively steep price, and unfortunately without hot showers. Mosquitos are free. We finish dinner and crawl into our yellow tent as thunder and lightning drains the heavens. Hopefully the sky will clear by morning. Then we’ll have a short ride to Magenta where we hope to catch a train.

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