Day twenty seven: Han Solo
Bologna to Mantua
I have no more visitors now until the end of the trip. It’s just me and the road. It’s why I chose to do this trip though and I don’t mind my own company, so was looking forward to getting off today to get back in a rhythm.
It was a long, flat and easy route. After the hills of Tuscany, an absolute breeze. After getting out of Bologna, I had a beautiful tarmac road to myself. The countryside is starting to change – no longer endless rolling fields of vineyards, but lots of wheat, corn and delicious looking lettuce. For as many working farms I saw, I saw the same amount of collapsed old buildings though – large barns and farm houses which had become completely overgrown.
The kilometres whizzed past and I had 70 under by belt when I stopped for lunch – the biggest and thinnest pizza I have had yet!
I then came across an actual sign for the Eurovelo route. Sort of thinking that it was all a hoax (I have been on some truly terrible bike ‘paths’ and led on motorways whilst following this route), it was great to see that is actually does exist. In this part of Italy, the Eurovelo 7 follows the many winding canals, up high overlooking the fields. It’s a gravel path, but because it’s flat and not too loose, it doesn’t slow you down too much. Still, I’m a sucker for the road and have to admit I only stayed on the route for part of the journey, choosing the smoother alternative where I could and when it was quiet.
The day would have been event free had I not taken a wrong turn, around 20 kilometres outside of Mantua. I got stuck on a horrendous country track which when it wasn’t grown over, was just mud. There were also huge hay bales planted on it every 100 metres or so for me to dodge.
My bike and I are now covered in mud.
Still, Mantua seems lovely – it’s built around two large lakes, so I’m off to explore. I have a very short day tomorrow so I can make the most of Verona, the last major Italian city I visit.