2014 France / Italy Ride Continued
We had breakfast with our friends at the B&B who have made this a special stop for us. It was just a chance encounter on the road that led to a good friendship. We packed up and got out of the city with little difficulty as the traffic was light and our experience of exploring the day before certainly helped. As we were leaving the outskirts of town, we saw perhaps 20 off road riders gathering for a day’s ride in the mountains. I have often been led to believe that there is little off road riding in Europe, but in these last days, we’ve seen many dirt bikes on their way to or coming from rides. As we’ve passed through some of these most beautiful mountains I’ve found myself wondering about how good the riding would likely be there. We climbed rapidly on fast moving country roads for an hour or two then dropped into some of what have now become typical tiny roads for a while. We arrived at one of those warning signs which we interpret as meaning danger, but not road closure, so eagerly pressed on as these have previously led us into some great experiences. Today was no exception; we rode some beautiful back country then passed through two very remote, can I say isolated, villages, in the last of which we encountered a tottery old woman walking up the narrow street. She heard us coming and slowly moved over; we expected a scowl as we carefully (there was barely room for all of us in that street) rode by, but were surprised to see a wonderful smile when she turned to look at us. We both imagined that she was thinking how she just might like to hop on and go with us. Our luck changed with the smaller roads shortly after as we encountered a principal connector that was now one way (naturally, the other way) so had to retrace our steps some and take an alternate track to get back on our route for the day which was, by then, moving down a lovely canyon on a fast sweeping road with lots of motos going in both directions. We stopped for some coffee before pressing on to Assisi where the tour buses were gathering so we quietly slipped to the outside of town where we found a great spot for some lunch. The afternoon was spent on roads passing through small towns and farm land (lots of tobacco grown here) and some small roads** which led us over mountains and into the valley of Arezzo where we (with a bit of a pursuit) found some lodging. It seems the place, because of the old city and nice surroundings, is quite popular. We got the bike secured, changed clothes and took a walk around just in time to be there with the typical early evening promenade. **Today we, again, saw many prostitutes on the side of the road. It has been, now, in two places where we have seen them standing, sitting or slightly sequestered in the shade of a tree waiting for customers who, by our short observations, have not been as plentiful as we observed in Bulgaria last year. These girls are young attractive and, we can’t help but imagine, so desperate to subject themselves to the dangers and humility of such a business plan.