Day 19 | Verona – Lake Garda (21 + 30 miles)


 As the morning sun rose above the beautiful city of Verona, we were up and about in the middle of our daily routine of applying chammy cream to our battered and bruised derrières.     After a croissant stop for breakfast, we were off. It was only 20 miles to Lake Garda and so we were there in no time at all.     We checked into the hostel and ran to the lake where we jumped, flipped and dove about in the cooling lake water. It was the perfect remedy.   Lake Garda is absolutely stunning albeit extremely hot (38 degrees) and soon after emerging from the lake, we were bone dry.During the afternoon, Sasha and I had quite different itineraries. One was sane, the other completely bonkers. Sasha decided to cycle around the whole of the lake!!   Soon after lunch, he stripped the bike down to its skeleton removing the cumbersome pannier bags and turned race mode to ON. As he set off on his ride, I also set off however on a more touristic route cycling only 30 miles visiting some beautiful little towns along the coast of the lake.   I also swam twice more, somehow managing to elude paying the 7€ fee for the private beach I had ended up on. Whilst there I ought to mention that I had one of the best ice creams I have ever had! Worth returning to Lake Garda just to feel that sweet sensation once more.  Sasha returned from his 90 mile round tour at 7pm and after a much needed shower, we descended to the hostel lobby where there was 5€ all you can eat pizza. On this occasion we went for quantity not quality. 

Day 18 | Venice – Verona (90 miles)

 Venice, Venice, Venice. What a magical place. Four years ago, whilst in Valencia doing an intensive Spanish course, I met two lovely Italian girls who studied in Venice. We kept in contact over the years and yesterday, we spent the whole day with one of them.   Venice is extremely busy, especially at this time of the year and so being with a local was brilliant. We walked around, visiting various different plazas, churches and bridges and had a delicious lunch altogether. Sadly, we said goodbye in the late afternoon and wandered slowly back to our hostel. Venice truly was wonderful however we felt ready to leave the overcrowded, narrow streets and head deeper into Italy, to Verona!    We set off the next day, walking and carrying our heavy bikes over the numerous little bridges upsetting many locals. We eventually re-traced our steps and made our way out.  Our day was very long and very hot. It reached 40 degrees at one point and remained around 38 for most of the day. It really was tough cycling in the heat and so we arrived in Verona at 6pm after a 90 mile day.   Unfortunately we did not get to visit Verona as much as we would have liked however, what we did see was beautiful. After a difficult choice of pasta or pizza, we settled on a restaurant and enjoyed what Italy does best; the food.