We had a beautiful day cycling! The secret is to get out of the city and into the country side.
It was Saturday and the sun was shining. Once we had cleared Tivoli, which was quite snarled up with traffic, and got onto the SR5, we began to come across other cyclists. They were all clad in Lycra and on faster bikes than ours. We did manage to slipstream a pelaton for a little way, which was fun.
The further on we got, the lighter the traffic. We stopped at a little town to buy some lollies and energy drinks. It was already getting hot and the terrain was hilly.
From here we rode on the SP34, which was a joy. Most of the traffic was cyclists out training. They all greeted us and I learnt to say “Buongiorno” in return. We had a long steady uphill climb, with wonderful views. Many olive groves and terracotta villages clustered on the hilltops.
We enjoyed an exhilarating long downhill stretch with green vistas up ahead before turning off onto the SR314 – an even more remote route that Kris had found. This hill was even worse and we had to get off an push for part of it (getting hot and tired at this point).
The uphill seemed an eternity, but we did eventually hit downhill. And then we came to this wonderful lookout with view over the lake Largo del Turano.
From here we circled around the lake to the bridge that takes us over to Castel di Tora, the old medieval town where I had booked our accommodation.
Getting the bikes up into the medieval town was a mission – really really steep – hard to push the heavy bike up there. Once there we had difficulty finding the accommodation – went to the wrong house. A passer by stopped to help, and soon a small group gathered. Eventually we were led to the accommodation. Just the maid was there – and she could only speak Italian. It was a bit of a shambles as the room was not ready (it was 4pm). She locked out bicycles in a nearby store room and we went to have a drink at the village bar nearby (red wine).
She could not give us the key to the bicycle lock up, so we ended up putting the bikes in the apartment – which was pretty cramped regardless.
We bought some food at the local shop, and were planning to go back to the village bar for dinner. However we both fell asleep at about 6pm. When we woke again at 11pm, we decided that we would not go out again after all.