Day 5: Cremona to Maderno, Lake Garda

, August 2, 2011

After writing my blog last night, I met a fellow cyclist. Daniel, a Canadian who has been on a four week tour of Italy. My early night went out the window and we sat chatting until late. Daniel is going to follow this blog when he returns home tomorrow so I wanted to give him a mention; such a nice guy and I enjoyed hearing his tales of numerous touring trips, plenty of inspiration for future missions. Despite my late night, I woke pretty early and was on the road at 8am.

Working a similar tactic to yesterday I got 80km in early. By 11:30 I was on the shores of Lake Garda and bright blue water, impressive mountains (the first I have seen since the Alps), and loads of tourists! I stopped and ate some food by the lake and checked my emails. News from Will Ross on some accommodation options we had been considering had come through. With this news, I will no longer be heading to Bolzano. As a result, the pressure is off and I don’t have a tight deadline to work to and have 100km less to travel in the next two days.

The lake started looking very appealing as the temperature crept up. A quick check of the map, another 20 km up the lake, and I decided I could call it a day. Giving myself a rest afternoon seemed like real luxury, I still covered 119km through Cremona, Asolo, Desenzano and Maderno so I can rest easy.

I spent the rest of the afternoon eating, sunbathing, splashing around a bit in the lake (I couldn’t call it swimming) and reading. I took in some more Italian culture: ice cream, coffee, pizza, saw a few Ferraris as checked out the yachts in the marina – a pretty tough day. I am now content, sat with my feet dangling in the water with my tent pitched about 50 meters away. Expensive campsite but ace location.

Tomorrow the riding gets more exciting – I’ll head up to over 2000m into the Dolomites so will need strong climbing legs. I have the second half of the lakeside to cover first so it should be a really good day. It will be the first of three tough days in the mountains as I head over to tackle Monte Zoncalon, nip up to Austria and across to northen Slovenia. All going to plan I will be in Kranjska Gora on Sunday.

Jump to Jack’s next day