Saturday, 19 May 2012

From Barcelona to Tehran: Day 16

Day 16: Climbing up the Hills, Coating down the Hills—all day; From Genova to Sestri Levante in Italy

May 15, 2012; Distance covered today: 60 Km; Total: 1176 Km

We left the hostel at about 9 after experiencing what Italian mean by “breakfast”: a small coffee with a piece of cake. We stopped at a supermarket and had a real breakfast, then hit the road. Today’s ride was supposed to be one of the most difficult rides. We were climbing and coasting down hills and mountains endlessly, but the scenery was fantastic. At about 6 o’clock, we took a train for a few stops to Levante since we wanted to have some time in the to explore Sincila area, which consists of five villages on the coast: Moneglia, Bonassola, Levanto, and Riomaggiore. No bicycle is allowed in that area. There is very little traffic, because the roads are not wide enough. The tunnels are one way and the traffic lights at the tunnels turn every 20 minutes. So… the only option to see the villages was to hop on and off the train the whole day and hike part of the route as well. To do that we had to get a day pass for the train and the walk paths of the villages for 10 Euros. 

On Our Way

On our Way

When we wanted to get on the train to Levante, at the station, we saw a family of five who wanted to get on the train as well. They were travelling by bicycle. It was amazing to see this family with little kids traveling by loaded bikes. 

The family wanted to camp in the Levante too, so we biked together to the campground.  I was lucky to rent a spot with them and see how they manage the challenges of camping, biking, and all. Thomas went to a hostel just round the corner, but he join me or us for dinner. 

The Family, Thomas and I
I pitched up my tent next to this family’s tent and watched how the kids were giving a helping hand to their parents to set up the camp and prepare the food, etc. I was totally amazed. What a unique family! They had  been on road for the past t 6 months and they wanted to go all the way down to Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and back home to France! 

We had dinner, had some wine, and talked about our experiences. The kids were fast sleep, but we had a great time talking to the parents.

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