Italy, Rossi Fever & a Floating City
Day 29 11-07-09 - Outside Florence
As is fast becoming the norm we did not get up very early but at least we had a plan. And that was to see Florence and then to be in Valentino’s home town that night, as soon as we found out exactly where it was that is. As it was a Sunday and Sundays had been good to us in the past in big cities we decided to ride in fully loaded, park up and walk about in our Merrells. We made the mistake in letting the GPS take us to the Tourist Info and after a fun (read between the lines) trip around various back streets and other interesting places we found the centre of town and the tourist info. Parked up, locked up and we were off around this beautiful city. We saw the copy of the statue of David as the queue to see the real thing was 1-2 hours long. We accidentally ( I promise) had pizza for lunch again and walked up to the best view point of Florence. We also witnessed first hand, an attempted pickpocket. The first crime of the trip. We left about 3-4 o’clock with the idea of being in Tavulla Rossi‘s home town (the name gained from a local taxi driver) that night or at the nearest campsite. Little did we know that the “quickest” route was along some of the twisty-est roads I have been along. The divvy was not the bike for the job and the many sports bikes passing us along the way proved that to be the truth. After seriously considering a hotel for the only the second time on the trip (yes I can hear you real campers saying just pull over by the side of the road) we stopped at a kind of fruit stall come bar and asked in very bad basic Italian if there was a campground near by. No, was the answer but there are about 20 on the coast near Rimini about 15 mins east. Sorted. Off we went found what had to be the family campsite in the area and set up shop for the night.
Day 29 13-07-09 - Rossi Fever
Today we are excited to say the least, we are going to Valentino Rossi’s home town, Tavulla. It has to be one of the quicker pack-ups and we are off, hoping but not too much that we see the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all time) at a bar or just walking down the street. We arrive full of silly thoughts, like having a beer with Vale or him posing for a photo with our bike. The town has yellow and the number 46 flags in all the shop windows, tasteful but gets the message across. This is Vale territory ! We drive past, the official Valentino Rossi fan club and the Rossi memorabilia shop to stop at a café suitably called “Valentino Café, the bar of Champions”. We are greeted by a wall of Rossi’s career as a motorcycle rider. After trying to digest all the photos and information we get told that he is in town but normally pops in at night for a beer. As it was 2:30 in the afternoon we didn’t think we could say that long. To cut a long and sorry (sorry for us) story short, a French couple that was at the café at the same time as us left for a while and it turned out saw him and followed him got a photo and came back. The good news is that his father did pop in while we were there and we got a photo with him. With heavy hearts we left Tavulla and Vale to go to Venice or as close as possible. After passing a few bike shops and remembering that Irish man's words “change the oil every 3000-4000 miles and everything will be ok” we decided to stay near one and change it in the morning.
Jo and Graziano Rossi
Me and Graziano Rossi
Day 30 14-07-09- Oil & an Aussie
I will stop saying it now but here we go for the last time. Yet another lazy morning, just couldn’t seem to get going. But in the end we pulled up at the bike garage and after a bit of sign language and what not, the head mechanic informed me ever so politely that even if I was going to buy some oil from him I could not change it there or around the corner or anywhere but back at a campsite. This would have to be the first time a fellow biker had not helped as much as they could. Perhaps I was expecting to much.. A bit further down the road we found another shop and great bunch that did everything they could for us short of changing the oil. Perhaps my sign language was not the best at the garage before ?? On to a campsite just 15mins ferry ride from Venice and 27 euros poorer. Great site though, lots of shade and a view of the sun setting on Venice across the water. There we met two fellow travellers, one from England and one from Australia, it’s funny how we keep bumping people in the same position with us, the travelling, the visa applications and all. They were very nice people and we joined then for a few drinks in their palace of a tent. We stayed there till about 1.30am until the campers next door to us yelled at us for being to noisy! I would like to say in our defence, we were the quietest people there speaking barely over a whisper, but hey…… So we decided to go sit on the pier until we realised it was other wise occupied and the two people already on the pier wouldn’t appreciate us joining in if you catch my drift. We finally parted company at about 2.30am still thinking that we could get up and catch the first ferry into Venice.
Day 31 15/07/09 - Venice
So the alarm apparently wet off at 6.00am, I of course didn’t hear it. Rob on the other hand did and snoozed for a few times (as usual) before waking me from a very peaceful slumber at about 7am. Just as I was slowly opening my eyes a ship went past and decided to blow his fog horn, not just once or twice but four times. It scared the living day lights out of me and then I just giggled and hoped that the man in the tent who shouted at us last night had also been rudely awoken! Horrible I know but he had no reason to shout at us…So needless to say we missed the first ferry into Venice so we thought we would catch the next one which was at nine that would give us time to load pretty much every thing on the bike say our goodbyes to our new friends and go….. We missed it, by about a minute, gutted. So we made our way back to our tent with our tail between our legs. We picked up the laptop and headed for the bar area to use the wireless. We didn’t end up catching the next ferry either but fortunately for us we made the 11am ferry. Because of this we decided that we wouldn't make it back to the camp site for check out and thought we would stay another night so we could see Venice properly. The ferry ride was very pleasant but the heat was getting to me already. We took a slow wonder around Venice with no real clue of where we were going. Some one left the map at the camp but even with the lack of a map we managed to see some pretty good stuff. The buildings were amazing although the canals were not what I had expected. Still very pretty though. We didn’t do a gondola ride even though they were very spectacular to watch. We wondered around for a few more hours and made our way back to the port for the 2.30 ferry. Venice is the only place so far that we think can rival Paris’s beauty. So Venice was great if a little too hot for me. Although Rob loved it, heat and all. Back at camp we chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. We did a little map reading to try and figure out our next destination and then pretty much nothing apart from throw the ball for a lone dog that seemed to take a liking to us. After making our selves some dinner and me burning my leg on the pan, we went next door and watched a movie and then went to bed in preparation of a big days riding tomorrow. The days are getting easier and we can go for longer on the bike with out stopping, it’s just the morning that seems to be letting us down, oh well we are on holiday after all.
Posted by Rob Mott at October 16, 2009 12:45 PM GMT
Our morning alarm..kinda close huh