Ken and Liz on a bike travel blog

Hmmm... still can't post photos. The internet sites here in Italy don't all allow posting of photos or receiving of email.

Since our last communication we have been ...busy. We rode North up the coast to Ravenna, and then basically followed the Po River Valley North and West towards Cremona and Pavia. The roads are FLAT! Six days without a climb! The valley itself is beautiful agricultural land, and for a lot of the route there is a bike path that follows the levee along the Po. There are beautiful cities - Ferrara is a university town where most people ride bicycles through the cobbled streets. We stayed at a campground close outside the walls of the city. Guastalla has a Youth Hostel where we were able to pitch our tent - amid hordes of mosquitos! Oops! Cremona was an independant City-State until Italian unification, and is still reknowned as the center of instrument making that produced Stradivarius, Guarnari and others.

From Cremona we pointed more or less south on a route that took us around the peaks of the Appenines. We followed route 456 which, for cycling fans, is the route of Milan-San Remo. We came over the Passo del Turchino, which is one of the mythical passes of competitive cycling. I hoped to send photographic evidence, but it will have to wait.

Just before that we were at the Museo dei Campionissimi, which is a museum in Nuovi Liguri which is dedicated to the luminaries of Italian cycling. It was a thrill to view the exhibits, as well as some of the bikes ridden by Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Marco Pantani Mario Cipollini and others.

We are currently on the Ligurian Coast, west of Genoa. After 7 consecutive days of cycling we are taking a rest day and catching up on correspondence. By mid-week we expect to be in France and pointing North once again. We will be sorry to leave Italy - we now have a routine down which we will need to revise to the French mode, and neither of us speaks much french. Oh well, we'll manage. My Italian language skills have improved dramatically (if not my typing and internet skills) and we will abandoning the familiar for the unknown. I suppose that was part of the point of the whole exercise...

The bicycle is working well - one blowout- and we brought too much warm clothing. It has been hot and muggy when not cool and wet, and we are prepared for - almost - anything!

I hope to access another computer today which will allow me to download email and catch up on goings on at home.

Thanks for reading,

Ciao for now,

Ken & Liz

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