As we sat on a bench outside the Monaco Yacht Club, a stone’s throw from the Monte Carlo Casino, Matt crammed another crisp into his tomato and cheese baguette. Who knows what the super rich thought of two sweaty, grubby cyclists, eating a supermarket lunch beside their yatchs. They probably didn’t even notice us, but we didn’t care, we had cycled to the Mediterranean from Scotland and were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.
Cycling along the Côte d’Azur has been a treat. The views have been incredible, including the winding forest road south of the Verdun natural park and the highly recommended coastal road, carved from the rock face, between Frèjus and Cannes (thrilling on a bicycle, but spectacular in any vehicle, especially without a roof).
After the sea swims, we headed to north Italy leaving the comfort (and expense) of the tourist trail. One evening, we asked a local Italian farmer if we could camp in his vineyard. He kindly agreed and then explained several times in Italian exactly where we should pitch the tent. “Capisci?” he kept saying as his frustration grew, we smiled, but the honest answer was “no”. Oh, how we laughed…
This week’s highlights
Being gifted a baguette by some German motorcyclists impressed with our pedalling
Joining a Sunday morning Italian peloton (and pedalling madly to keep up)
Dips in the glorious Mediterranean Sea
The way Italians exclaim ‘oh mamma mia!’ and shake their hand in that way that only Italians can when we tell them our final destination
This week’s lowlights
Matt’s phone falling out of his handlebar bag at a roundabout and being immediately run over by a car
The smell of a (previously lovely) French brie that had been neglected in a hot pannier
Harriet deciding to eat said brie to avoid wastage, by which point the brie was a living, breathing organism worthy of its own David Attenborough documentary.
Next week we are joined by one of Matt’s friends for a couple of days along the river Po, then plan to make it to Venice, briefly into Slovenia before reaching Rijeka in Croatia. As ever, let us know if you’ve got any tips.
Arrivederci for now!
Well gone, guys. Loving the Love Actually reference!
If you’re struggling to communicate with the Italians, I hope you’re up to speed on your Kazakh 👌🏼😂