Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Days of Touring - Bye Bye Italy

Our final day on tour was hilariously anti-climactic. Just 10kms to Porto Torres. Of course, we also got a serious and incredible storm to dump amazing amounts of water on us, just for good measure. We pedaled through and turned around to look back.

We weren't that wet. And the sun dried us pretty well. Just at the edge of town we encountered a bike path! Not really an easy entrance from the road, but we got on there just for the fun of trying it out.

It turned out to be super crazy. Very steep hills, uncertain surfaces, and the uphills were as impossible as the downhills. Joshua: If I lived here I would never use this path.
Ah, well.

We followed the coast, assuming we'd run into the port, which we did. We saw the Hotel Elisa and stopped in to see about a room. A hilarious exchange ensued, with the woman at the desk calling someone in charge to ask if she could put us in a certain room, telling the person on the phone that she had the book right in front of her, going back and forth, and finally saying that we'd be fine to stay, but we'd have to wait a bit because someone was cleaning the room right then. I also got that they weren't thrilled we were only staying one night, but since we were taking the ferry in the morning it was fine. Pretty much everything was repeated three times with accompanying expressions of frustration, both on her face and in her hands. Lost on the guy on the phone. Or maybe not. He walked in shortly after they hung up and repeated everything again, in English.

They had space for the bikes, but said that since we were leaving so early we could put them in the ladies room in the lobby. We headed out and found a laundry mat and did some washing. While that was processing we attempted to get some lunch, only to find that most everything was closed. October 1st. The bar we finally settled on was mediocre, but we got to eat and it was cheap. I ordered pesce fritte with fried potatoes, imagining fish and chips. Oh no. Whole tiny fish battered and fried. They were delicious. 

Back at the hotel we stuffed all out bags and us into the tiny elevator and moved in to our close but very tidy room with a view.

The place is very certainly a family affair. Later in the afternoon the grandma of the operation asked me if I spoke German (the passport again). She said there was an email which someone had sent to a guest who had left already, but she wanted to try to pass on the message. I gave it a try and from what I could grasp, it was from two people telling this person that she needed to come home right away and see doctor so-and-so and that they didn't want to be in touch anymore until that happened. I cross-checked with Google Translate just for good measure. I explained it to the best of my abilities in Italian, and again when the son came back in English. Then I showed them about Google Translate, explaining that it really isn't perfect, but great for individual words and phrases.

A whole slew of touring cyclists came in in the evening. Some Norwegians who I think were in their 60s, at least, were also heading in the opposite direction, having flow into the northern city on the peninsula that morning. They'd done their 70kms. We aspire to their greatness.

We went out to a cafe while it got cold and dark, then back to the hotel where we had a very lovely dinner. Again we enjoyed excellent seafood, delicious pasta, and a lovely bottle of wine suggested by grandma. Before we headed up to bed grandma gave me a copy of the front door key, so we could lock the door behind us and drop it in the mailbox when we left in the morning. And then early to bed for our 4am wake-up. 

1 comment:

Mysterio said...

Love love love your life. I know it must be hard from time to time, but I love it none the less. You are living for yourselves. Keep doing that.