rainy day diaries
Bologna Travel Blog› entry 82 of 86 › view all entries
After leaving my family behind we planned to ride west and then south to cross the mountains towards the meditarenen. Here it would be warmer, it would rain less and we expeced to ride big distances.
'Outside the thunder is rumbeling, the tent is regularly illuminated by lightening and Daren is repeatedly trying to scare me. "Its right over us" he decides to point out as the tent is lit up again and the ground is trembling from the noise around us. But hes not successfull, I felt safe. Were in a small oak forrest and not at risk of landslides or flash flooding. We can only get wet. Long live europe'
I still felt extatic purely because we were back in europe and nothing really seemed dangerous or unknown anymore. Only i'd forgotten how long the showers can be.
"We sat in the tent all morning....at 11 am there was a window, we packed up and then ended up sitting under our tarp for another hour before there was another window. 2 km later i had a puncher and as we fixed it the dark clouds gathered again. We ended up spending another hour at a covered picknick table in freezing cold. Then we gave up and decided to ride. It drizzled.
Around 4 pm we were soaked and tired, seeking shelter in a supermarked, standing under the heating vents pretending to consider our shopping. Outside, under a roof in depression, we ate a whole bag of cakes, that was supposed to have lasted us two days, and unpacked the soaked tent in the hope that it would dry.
We were at this stage not used to the conditions in europe. We had meet two of the most dirty travelers i had ever seen in croatia. They had cycled in europe for 3 month and like we were about to become, they had been excluded from society, pretty much completely, due to the high prices. But we didn't know this yet. We still tiptoed around the puddles like cats, hid under shelters for hours and hoped to remain dry.
'its day. were in the tent for the 18th hour in a row. Its still raining. The ground of the tent soaked through and our mats are like two islands. I knew they would keep dry but the air in the tent never heated up because of al the water. It was cold, i was worried about my bags touching the tent and letting more water in but nevertheless i slept sound. But please please no more rain now..."
we rode in the rain the whole start of the day. The previous two days we'd only managed 40 km pr day and we'd decided we needed to get a move on. As my ridingtop had dried well on me over night i now wore a wollen jumper that was still damp from a wash in bologne, hoping it would work equally well. it seemed so stupid to carry around a wet heavy top...In a village at the foot of the mountains, the mission to keep dry expanded and we unpacked the tent in a covered area. we ate sandwiches surrounded by sleeping bags, tentbags and other damp items. People stared at us. I was very aware of the fact that we no longer shared our experience of italy with them. But then the rain stopped and for the first time in over two days a small patch of blue began t spread. We felt so lucky! the beautiful side f being an outsider to normal society reappeared
"Neve" an old man grunted and pointed towards our peaks. he shivered excessively to get his point accross: Apparently we were riding into the snow. Around us, the trees still had red and yellow leaves. It was not wintery and in arrogance we concluded the old man probably hadn't left his village for a long time. We rode upwards, letting the sun reenergize us. 6 km later after we turned a corner enormous snowfields opened up infront of us. The challenge now became a different one as we were about to camp in minus degrees.
"we need to get card board to keep us warm" Daren stated as if i would have no problem scavenging around the paperbins. I swear he looked excited about the project, recalling cold nights spend on the streets in france and spain 15 years ago, when he roamed europe busking. I refused. An hour later as temperatures had dropped fast and the sky looked more frosty i stood reluctantly gathering cardboard. People peered through their curtains.
With this Daren managed to turn me into a proper homeless person and it was in this style that the rest of our journey home would be.