DAY 65 – 8 August 2018
Bolzano to Marter, Italy
Transport: Touring bikes 99.6km at 19.9km per hour pace
The gringo: We woke up and shared a meal of poached eggs (aka Aussie style as no one seems to know this method of preparing eggs) with bread and butter and some SOP oats and yogurt with fresh blackberries we had hand picked yesterday (got them on the descent down from the lake). We bid our farewells with Claudio who had an important meeting at work and got ready ourselves to depart for the day. Our plan was to follow the river down to Trento then make our way towards Grigno (aka the gringo) which is a smallish Italian town in North Italia. We had a cycle path all the way into Trento but were buffeted by a strong cross/head wind for most of the ride in so decided to take a break following our lunch stop a #naptime 😴.
We then rolled into Trento where we were greeted with a 400m berg (I thought we were meant to be heading down the mountains not up them 😬).
We eventually made it up the crest and went to our favourite German discounter Lidl 😝. There we bought both dinner, breakfast and lunch for the next day for less than $16 and this included an assortment of salami/prosciutto, veges, fruits and gnocchi, breads and oats 😳.
We didn’t have any accomodation organised for the night so after we had pedalled another 20km we started hunting for a farmer’s barn where we could ask the owner to stay. We didn’t find any farms but did stumble on this small town -Marter where there where a number of houses. The first house we tried had a nice old lady in it but after some consideration she told us no 😢 and I believe was trying to direct us to either a neighbour who spoke English or a official campground further down the valley. Maybe we should have paid heed to the picture of a guard dog and gun on her spiked iron fence more… (side note we have been told by several north Italians that most Italians in the North care about their security and do not trust strangers without first knowing them – totally reasonable so I harbour no grudge to anyone that doesn’t want us on their lawn. Just making a note of this as it is part of our travel experience). Anyways we then tried another nearby neighbour and as soon as Emm started making the tent ⛺️ sign language the lady (Francesca) started saying by Si Si and hurried downstairs to greet us. I was hoping she understood us correctly and wasn’t going to direct us on as it was starting to get dark and I knew we were well away from an established campground (#lastresort). My fears were alleviated immediately when Francesca came downstairs as she not only offered us a place to camp anywhere in her spacious backyard but also offered us a shower and even offered to cook homemade pasta if we wanted. We insisted that we were more than happy with a place to pitch our tent for the night and didn’t want to be any inconvenience to her or her boyfriends mother Marilena who was the home owner. I was happy we did this as the pair had planned to have dinner out in town together and left shortly after meeting us.
We then made our dinner which was super delicious and is on the repeat list for sure which consisted on gnocchi, zucchini, pesto and prosciutto 😍. Seriously so simple and delicious. After dinner we set up our Mossi net and sleeping mats and were soon greeted again by Francesca, Marilena and their dog Zara (a really cool German hunting dog 🐶) who were all back from dinner.
When they arrived they asked that we come inside with them and insisted we instead sleep on the couch upstairs and use the shower. We could tell these 2 were super hospitable and really wanted us to sleep inside and be at home. We accepted at this stage and shared a night cap of Grappa with Marilena before she went to bed.
Francesca told us she had travelled a fair bit herself and her boyfriend (Marilena’s son Sebastiano) had completed several long overseas trips staying with different family’s and the like similar to our trip. Francesca herself is studying to become a lawyer and is a genuinely lovely person. We bid both of them good night shortly after the night cap and were soon snoring under the comfort of a cool wooden house.
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Hazelnut spread jar count: 13
Jam jar count: 9 (2 additional jars from berries we picked ourselves)
Honey jar count: 2
Brake pads cooked: 3
Gear cables: 1
# fuel bottles: 3 litres of denatured alcohol, 1x 250g gas bottle
# Sporks broken: 1
# knives broken: 1
# knicks destroyed/used beyond use: 1
# shoes broken: 1 pair sandals
# novelty sunnies from Kurt: 1
Day 66 – 9 August 2018
Marter to Treviso, Italy
Transport: Bikes 121.6km at 22.7km per hour pace
Park up city: We woke up and had some scrambled eggs (fresh eggs from the family’s chicken coop) bread, spreads and fruit washed down with some really decent Italian brewed coffee 😋 (via the very popular Moka Pot that most Italians seem to own and use).
During breaky Francesca gave us a run down on how her partner Sebastiano had been restoring the wooden family home over the last few years as we had noted how it was a beautiful home with mostly wooden architecture (similar feel to a ski lodge).
What a view to wake up to
beautiful Italian home
We packed up shortly after breaky and Francesca, Milana and Zara all bid us farewell and insisted we return if we came back through the area to do some hiking with them and experience some authentic Italian home cooking. I hope our plans unravel so that our paths can cross again as this family is a real topper.
We had a pretty easy ride on the cards for the day (approx 120km mostly flat 😂) so rolled gently down to the town Bessano.
As we neared the town entrance we changed in a small stretch of riverside where we could swim and chill out in the shade of a large tree. It was started to get really hot so the allure of the cold water had us jumping in only stopping to take our cycling jerseys off 🌊.
We attempted to read under the shade of the tree but was shortly sound asleep. We woke about 3pm and decided we needed some late lunch before we could properly roll the last 50km to Treviso so stopped at a Lidl on route and got some yogurt, fruit and surprise surprise salami. We stopped in a park a few kms outta town (our third parkup for the day 🙄) and were finally rolling towards our final destination at 6pm. We arrived at 830pm in Treviso and went to meet Vania our host from #warmshowers who had offered us a bed and shower for the night. We had brought some food to cook for dinner but this was quickly put aside as Vania started putting together a feast of home made ricotta gnocchi with a pesto based sauce with a starter of these tortellini type pasta pockets filled with tomato and zucchini. Needless to say I was once again in food nirvana 😋😍.
Vania is a whiz with Italian cooking and it was awesome getting hands on lessons from her on how to cook the different dishes #cooking101 #italiancookinglessons.
Vania herself has a passion for travel and has hosted many different people from around the world who are travelling through the area by bike or otherwise. She loves getting to know her guests and particularly loves the crazy stories that come with travelling long term. She reminds me a lot of my little sister Sophie in personality and it was very natural getting on with her. We had a really lovely relaxing evening with Vania and can’t thank her enough for her hospitality she showed us during our brief stay with her.
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from the 8th August
-B and E