Thursday, 20 June 2013
Day 10 - Well that was not expected
Setting off from just south of Genoa we had a long day planned of what we thought would be similar to the previous days and maybe even flatter. Oh how we were wrong; we’d reached the foothills of the alps, not what we expected as we hiked up these mountains legs aching and sweat pouring out with every push of the pedal as the temperature rose to 35 degrees by 12 o’clock. The corners wound round the hills and continued to be seemingly never ending. The hot humid and thick air didn't do us any favours as we longed to be the cyclists that were passing us in the other direction at top speed with very smug faces. The peak arrived after 1.5 hours of constant climbing. Never have I been more relieved to see the top of a hill. A rapid descent followed as we rushed to reach our lunch time target in a small village at the base of the mountain. Wallowing in what little shade we could eventually find we paused for lunch.
The afternoon fortunately was pretty flat in comparison but still incredibly hot, but after 11.5 hours in the saddle we made it to Pisa. A quick turn around and we headed in for supper below the tower. We found a restaurant that was worryingly cheap but seemed great at the time (note to all others…avoid this place). We all thought we’d escaped school meals until the risotto came out splattered all over the plate and the burger turned out to be a school burger by itself and some soggy chips. However the good old Italian ice cream down the road solved all and morale picked up especially as we realised we were steam rolling through Italy and there should only be two days ahead.