September 18, 2015
We arrived in Borgo San Dalmazzo Italy yesterday, after 2 gruelling weeks riding in the Alps. We had to climb several Cols, the highest and most difficult being Col de Torini an increase in elevation from 400 meters to 1607 meters in 15 km’s. The weather was cold in the mountains, a few nights in low single digits. We attended a Rainbow festival with raw food, we did some hiking down in to the Grand canyon with Henrika from Holland who picked us up hitchhiking back to La Palud to get gas for the stove and then met her again the next day riding her bike just before we began a difficult climb out of Castallane.
Our host Claude in Castallane regaled us with stories of visitors to his campground, including one woman who showed up with no money or tent and he gave her shelter. A few weeks later a tent arrived in the mail with a note from her for him to keep it to help travelers in need of a place to stay for the night.
We have slept in our tents every night except one when it rained heavily for a whole day and we moved in to a caravan for that day and night. Provence Aux Alpes in a wondrous place with many ancient small villages. Beautiful mountains, valleys and rivers. It has been a rich experience but challenging cycling, with our longest day only doing 55 km’s.
Our Warmshowers host here, Roberto met us at the train station. We had to take the train from France to Italy as there is an 8 km tunnel and bicycles are not permitted. The train passed through many tunnels including one 360’ tunnel a masterpiece of engineering. Apparently the only other tunnel like it in the World in the Canadian Rockies.
Arriving here we were surprised to find out that we are out of the mountains and it is flat now all the way to Venice. It’s sort of like it would be if you were in Calgary – you see the high mountains to the West and to the East, just the horizon.
Roberto and his girlfriend Lorella have been amazing hosts preparing two lovely meals and taking us on a walking tour of the beautiful city of Cuneo.
So we are off to wander through the countryside to avoid major highways and are looking forward to picking up the Vento, a bike path that runs along the river Po from Alessandria all the way to Venice, over 400 km’s, in entirety over 600 km’s, the longest bike path in Europe.
No time to post pictures. Once we get to Venice I will update everything.
September 18, 2015