Monday, August 18, 2014

Bergamo part Tre

This is the continuation of week one's uber long ride.  Bergamo, Lecco, Bellagio, Madonna del Ghisallo, down to Asso and then up and over to Nesso with 15k downhill into Como.  Last 40 miles were pretty tough bringing the total with an unintended detour on the Autostrada to 111 miles. 

At the top of the 2nd and tougher climb.  I think this climb was close to an hour or so.

With views worth it.

The descent back to Como is one of the longest and most fun I've done.  Probably 20 minutes long with tons of switchbacks.  We had to keep the reins on in case of opposing traffic.  At one point we were face to face with a tractor on a one lane bridge.  Good times!

Lago d' Como.  It's ok.

Big views down from the bridges.

On Thursday Lynne, Pete, Brenda, and Angela went to Venice on the train, so Duncan, Danielle, and I drove over to Lecco (on the bottom of the other y of Lake Como) and then up towards Bellagio to swim.  This cool statue and park is in Lecco- beautiful town!

We drove up the left side of the right y and ducked out of a tunnel and found this amazing swimming hole with only a few other people around.  We were def the only Americans around.  Cool water, fish swimming around us, and incredible views in every direction.

Kind of gets the whole picture on the swimming hole.

For Colleen and Todd- Italian goats for the "Wildlife Game."  Keeping me on the board for the year.

Found a super cool huge cemetery in Bergamo.  This is the outside wall and I keep forgetting to go back and walk around.  Maybe this week.

My pal Fiorenza cut my hair and then wouldn't stop talking bicycles.  He has a classic Bianchi anniversary edition on the wall and is friends with Nibali and Salvodelli.  I think this was Salvo's signed jersey.  Someone has to keep those pro cyclists looking good, and this guy was def a professional.

We rode over to Lago del Iseo- about 70 miles with some nice climbs and a great descent to the Lake.  Lunch was amazing.  There are a bunch of pictures on everyone's phones that I don't have for the blog.

With some crappy weather in Bergamo we decided to drive over to Cinqueterra and do some hiking.  About 3 hours in the car and a few euro tolls we found a parking place above Monterosso Al Mare and headed onto the trail.  Very little planning and almost no knowledge of the place makes for a great adventure.

Walking down from the road we found the trail within minutes and headed towards Vernazza.

It was super hot, super humid, and we were all sweating tons.

And the views and hike were well worth it!

These cool "roller coaster" like machines are all over and used for the harvest.

The moment we got into town we found a few rooms, changed into swim gear, and jumped into the water.

The sea is perfect temps, lots of float from the salt, and tons of fun.

After the swim we hiked up some stairs to a bar and had some drinks.

Our lunch spot included a warning about making the owner sad.

Chris caught being nice to a baby.

Sunset in the harbor.

We found a tunnel in the city that led to this beach and another amazing view of the town. 

Chris pretending to crush some poor Italian's head.

Dinner that night was incredibile.  This was a sea/rice dish for 3 of us.

Colleen and Chris making appropriate faces.

Megan and Pete.  Pete is focusing on food.

The stairs to the bathroom were a bit sketchy.

Coffee in the morning.  This is as normal as Chris will allow for a picture.

The hike started strong.

There were signs on the trail telling us how much further each town was, and we couldn't figure them out no matter what maths we used.  Distance?  Nope.  Time?  Maybe.  Units of random?  Probably.

Cornegglio maybe?

As soon as we rolled into town we saw that the last 2 sections of trail were closed.

Hiking towards / past train station and to the closed gate.  We walked back to the train and took it to Manarola.

We timed our arrival perfectly for a huge storm and ate a great lunch waiting it out.

Colleen introducing her shrimp to Pete.

Forsaking the last town we decided to head back to the beginning and head home.
After landing back at the beginning we still had a 45 minute up hill hike to the car.

Don't throw matches on already burning mushroom trees.

Google driving took us on a 15k road that was super narrow and winding along a ridge with incredible views of the water.

This was an open part of the road.

More to see the following day in which we were rained out again.

The perfect camper van!

Vallegio Sul Minco

Trying to find the castle.


Old stuff...

Lago del Garda

The biggest of the lakes.

Paddle boating will never be the same.  Unfortunately we were too late.


Have never seen this side of the town because we've always ridden through.  My lucky parking place brought us here.

I am an Italian lizard.

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