London to Venice – Day 11 (13) – Ferrara

We cycled out of Verona today. Yes, we had been bolted up there for 2 days to allow for the weather to change. No, I’m not a fair weather cyclist, but just couldn’t be arsed with riding and camping in the rain…perhaps (definitely obvs), I’m getting older.

I’ll put some of Verona on at the bottom, but suffice to say is a lovely town, very very beautiful, and although we spent a large amount of time at a cafe by the apartment watching the world go by, I loved it. Great place.

Today we cycled to Ferrara in the Po valley. The rehashed plan being to cycle to the Po, then follow it to the Lagoon and islands hop to Venice Lido for Sunday. Camping in 3 spots as we did.

First though, we had to deal with Lamby’s hangover – to be honest he was in the worst state I have ever seen him in. I was almost worried. Thing is I mentioned the cafe we spent some time at, and yesterday was no different. We loved it there and they were lovely lovely people, constantly bringing us free food, of all descriptions and encouraging (obvs) us to sample the local (delicious wines). Yesterday we had a few beers and some wine and then headed back to the apartment for dinner and to watch the Europa Cup Final (Lamby is a Chelsea fan – for his sins – which are many). I stopped drinking at this point. Lamby however did not and took it upon himself to start downing triple espresso’s with Amaretto thrown in. And married that up with a couple of bottles of wine – i went to bed. Though could hear the increasing tension and/or pissedness coming from the room next door. I’m no expert, but I think 8 espresso’s all with liqueur added is a never going to end well, especially alongside 2 bottles of wine – and the way he looked this morning certainly bore that out. He was in a shocking state.

Nonetheless we got away at a decent time and headed south for the Po river. Italy’s largest – and weirdly runs West – East not taking the chance to empty into the med when it so easily could have, but instead running across the entire North of the country to empty into the Adriatic. This river, and it;s massive valley is most likely responsible for the fact the North of Italy is the economic powerhouse of the country – I say powerhouse lightly.

The first 35 miles of the ride were largely on back roads as we made our way South. I said powerhouse above – and perhaps questioned that. Reason is – where is everyone?? The towns are like ghost towns and even the car park of Lidl where we had a classic yongsaian lunch was empty?? I don’t get it… I said this as we rode – but the first 35 miles of today’s ride was reminiscent of Romania. Long straight roads, sprinkled with towns, where not much appeared to be going on… Very odd.

The land is pan flat. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horizon as far or clear. That sounds great, but only added to the eerie feeling that we were riding through some post apocalyptic land.

As we approached the only climb of the day we were fearful

But in the end we handled it!!!!

Once we were on the Po levees things got a bit more familiar. We could have been on the Loire or the Danube, and I have to say this kind of cycle touring is just the best. Absolutely stress free. Also, added bonus, we were on the EuroVelo 8 – is pathetic, but I like the connectivity of these routes and may well come back and do the whole ‘8’ – train connections look quite good!!!!

As I write this I’m sitting outside the bar in a rather odd ‘camspite’. I frequently get this (not sure what it says about me), but at some of these little family places, where there literally isn’t anybody else, give or take a couple of Dutch in a caravan – I am fearful we have cycled into a Swinging campsite. Today I man getting this vibes in a strong way – will be an early one for me – and I am thankful I don’t have any car keys.

So that’;s about it. I’m off to hide for fear of something quite quite horrible… Here are some shots of something quite the opposite – lovely Verona (I will be back). I leave you with words from the Lamb:

“Pigeon flutters in Courtyard

Amaretto coffee

Bells”

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