Chiusa - Trento 101.8kms 396’ ascent
Trento – Rivalta 63.2kms 232’ ascent
I’ve put these two days together because of their similarity in all but distance. Having profoundly rubbished the Italian cycle route, I now find I must eat humble pie. Having left the hostel yesterday in good time, and having decided that we would venture no more onto wiggly routes, we/Alan chanced upon a cycle way which ran between the river and the road. We conjectured that as long as we crossed neither, the route could not take off into the mountains. The logic worked so well, that for two days we have been following an impeccable track! It has taken us along gorges, through tunnels, and above rivers but its most favourable feature is that, for the most part, it has been downhill, even if only slightly.
I had never thought of Italy as a great grower of apples, but yesterday we spent much of our journey passing by apple orchards – apples of all shapes and colours and not quite ripe for picking. Today has been the turn of the vine (but we have thought of Italy as a wine producer). We have actually cycled through the vineyards lush with grapes, also not quite ready for harvesting, but smelling gorgeous.
We are still on our continuing search for maps and this morning we thought to venture into Trento and try to find some. Instead, we found another guiding angel – this one male. He had originally signalled to Alan that he should be on the cycle track so, being a good citizen , Alan did as he was bid. This is turn led to a conversation between the two during which the need for maps was mentioned. The magic words, “Follow me” were spoken and with little fuss we found ourselves outside a bookshop; that they had nothing useful was beside the point. We bought a map anyway which at least gives us an overview of the whole of Italy so scale is not helpful for locating small roads etc. Yet another nice young man.
As is often the case in the mountains, they attract their unique weather systems. These are no exception. For two days now, starting around midday, the old nostril wind has palled up with his brother, the mistral. So we now have a ‘minestrone ‘wind of some force, certainly gusts of eight. The temperatures have also risen significantly so that a cold shower of rain is a positive pleasure. Hopefully smelling a little sweeter now, we shall seek sustenance and gird our loins for another day on the tracks.