…did not pass without event, despite being mostly by train, but don’t go thinking there was no cycling! The initial hour-long cycle along the Tiber path was not as straight forward as it might have been.
Firstly, I knew that there was a bridge closed, but each time I passed on Saturday there were other cyclists lifting their bikes over the barrier and crossing. This was fine for me, too, with no baggage, but today was different! Thankfully there were plenty of people around to help.
Then I got a thorn in my tyre. Normally I think the thorn would not have made it through, but the front tyre is the one that came with the bike so 2000km or so has left it quite thin! Now, taking the tube out and putting a new tube in should be no problem. That is, unless you have two kind elderly Italian men to help! It made for quite a fun time as they bickered about the best way to do it! Finally fixed we set off, but whilst they had all the gear and clothing for speed, they had not the desire- they were ‘Sunday drivers.’ I kept trying to edge away from them but they kept chatting, and then one guy insisted that I should go back to his house for some lunch! At least I would get to see today’s Italy!!
Then as we passed through a gate onto a road, it swung shut on me, cutting my leg and ripping a pannier off the back! The old guys didn’t notice me stop and so cycled off never to be seen again! I patched up my leg and had a go at patching up the pannier- I just hoped it will hold at least till the train- it did.
Thankfully I made the last regional train to Napoli before 8pm tonight. There is something not quite right about seeing my bike on the train. Its like putting a bird in a cage!!! I’ll have to get used to it. I shared the bike cabin, this time, with four Indian men who curled up on the floor and went to sleep!
Perhaps it is arriving by train, or perhaps it is port cities, but Napoli does not seem like a friendly place. Very similar to Genova, was my first impression, and I never did find the nice parts of Genova. Then I find that the nearest campsite is 20km away. I was happy to do some cycling but this is not an easy city to leave. I did eventually find more pleasant parts, on the coast, which I guess is what it is famous for. Once again the romance of the cobbles was lost on me, but riding along the coast into the sunset was very pleasant.
I learnt my lesson and waited till after a swim, shower and dinner to write this so I am much happier about it all now! However, earlier that familiar stress of having to make decisions when tired and in a strange place was dominant!
I am now in Pouzzuoli, camping in an inactive volcano that still has hot pools and sulphur jets- so I am not sure how they decide it is inactive? Sadly it is 20km in the wrong direction to Pompeii so I don’t think the cycle to Pompeii plan will happen tomorrow. We’ll see.