Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hoboventure: Antignano Aunt

Our intention for the day to was stop somewhere between the Livorno and the Marina di Bibbona. We left Pisa and our campsite at about 2 PM heading straight for the coast along the Arno again. Even with the headwind, riding was pretty easy. The smell of salty ocean and the increasing number of marinas told us we were near. The road then turned southward: teasing glimpses of the sea over farmers fields were all we got. Thankfully, the road meandered closer and closer, until we were riding along a beach front boardwalk in Tirrenia. Stopped in the heat for a fro-yo. Whose health benefits were negated by the strawberry and lichee sauce. Eventually, the quiet biking got much busier. Cars were more prevalent and it became difficult to weave through. There was a bike path, which was glorious for the first while. But we'd hit a major town (Livorno) and the bike path was more of a "children learning to rollerblade" or "stroller pushing exercise" or "let's all walk 6 across" path. It is a sad state of affairs when one's bike path is more dangerous than the road. And it was frustrating. It was not like there wasn't a perfectly usable walking path 2 feet away, or that there was an alternate boardwalk for pedestrians… It was very similar to trying to ride on a Saturday afternoon along the Toronto lakeshore waterfront path… Probably because it was a Saturday afternoon, along the seaside waterfront pathway.  Also at some point we had our first tire puncture.

It might have been Sunday.

In Livorno, there was a public water fountain. Usually in Italy, people buy aqua minerale by the 10 litre case. It's not expensive: 1.5 litres can cost 0.15€. I think they do it because the tap water tastes so bad. The water fountain was a mineral water source. A bunch of old guys were hanging about, filling glass wine jugs and bottles. The italian information sign said the water would taste best not-in-plastic, and I'm in agreement. We filled up every vessel we had: BeverZwerfSport, Indigo's green bottle, our one remaining bladder and our stomachs. They were all empty! Hydration is pretty important, and we'd been loads drinking water all day under the hot sun.   

Escaping from the crazy families, we bumbled along. Soon, we came to a campeggio - it was about half past six, and the road got a lot busier afterwards. Taking a quick conference, we chose to utilise the facilities. The low season pricing was reasonable enough to con Mr. CheapSeats into accepting it. A plot with a waterfront location and possibility for expansion, near shops and amenities, with parking, was chosen. 

Twas glorious. 

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