Friday, October 7, 2016

Things don't always go as planned....

Saturday Oct. ?

Dear Family and Friends,

This report will be about the fundamental truth of motorcycle traveling…. things don't always go as planned….
Thursday we all left Venice after a wonderful week. My daughter Sarah and Daune’s wife Linda flew home to California on one of the longest convoluted routes possible. They arrived home safe and sound but very tired…  Bonnie and her friend Robin took a train to Florence and are still having a fabulous time.
I set off on my motorcycle with Kim and Duane.. It feels good to be back on the bike but I do miss Bonnie terribly. She is my best friend…
The first day out we rode south along the Adriatic Sea to Rimini. Sounds beautiful  and I thought this would be a very relaxing ride, but the coastal road between Venice and Rimini is full of port towns and industry so the views were so so and the amount of trucks on the road were a giant pain. We did make it to Rimini and found our hotel a delight. Right on the beach in a resort town. 
Kim and I went out for dinner that night while Duane took it easy at the hotel. The father you get form big cities the fewer and fewer people you find that speak English so ordering food becomes a fun challenge..
The next morning we awoke to a cold rainy day! Before this trip I went back and forth about what motorcycle jacket to bring. (you can ask Bonnie, I changed my mind many many times) My concern was Spain and Italy would be hot but going back north in October would be cold. Well it appears I made the right decision for the wrong reasons. I brought a heavier jacket and I am needing it in Italy. So much for the “average weather” reports I checked before we left.. October was supposed to be warm and sunny in Italy.
Friday morning’s ride started out in cold rain. Duane asked that we just take the fastest route to the next town because he was starting to fight a cold. So I set my GPS to fastest route and off we went.. I had also reviewed a printed map so I knew the general route. Now Duane got a new GPS just last week and within a half an hour he was telling me I was going the wrong way… I know I wasn’t and had to argue with Duane.. Of course in the end I was right and we went straight to our destination with no problems. Duane is a smart man and better than me in many areas but directional ability is not one of the areas of his expertise. And him owning a GPS system just re-enforces his lack of direction.. A man with a little knowledge is dangerous.
We rode up into the mountains and it just got colder and colder, wetter and wetter until we decided to stop for some hot coffee. By that time my pants were soaking wet from the knees down so I decided to put my water proof pants over my jeans to try and keep whats left dry…
After coffee we took off and of course it immediately stopped raining so now I had pants on that trapped the water in my jeans. So instead of the wind drying my pants I rode the rest of the day wet.. As they say timing is everything. Again not as planned….
We arrived in Terni by early afternoon. By then Duane had a full on cold and started self medicating with copious amounts of wine.. Kim helped him out and after that they spent the afternoon napping.
I decided to ride into downtown Terni by the river and walk around a bit. The traffic was horrendous and my GPS did not like the town but I did eventually sort it out. I had a nice Chinese dinner ( as much as I like Italian food once in a while I need something different). I like Chinese food and have eaten it all over the world. It always strikes me as funny when the waiter (always Chinese decent) does not speak a word of English and speaks Italian with a thick Italian accent. Also the menu was completely in Italian. I got my iPhone out and and found the words for Chicken and Beef. Found them on the menu, pointed and hoped for the best.. I am not sure what I got but it was good.. :)
One of the fun moments of the night was when I was parking two young men from Romania studying at the local university noticed my motorcycle and the California plates. Of course they were curious and amazed that I was there, this old man on a  motorcycle from so far away.. And when you tell anyone California that is magic.
After dinner I had a nice walk along the river. A very pleasant evening.
Later I came back to the hotel around 8pm just as Kim and Duane were waking up from their naps and joined them while they ate their dinner.
By 9pm we were all tired and called it a night.
This morning I am up early writing you before we take off on another short day of riding. We are still heading south to a city called Cassino. I plan to take a bit longer, but more scenic route, I am not sure what Duane is going to do, depending on his cold he may ride straight there. Kim will deicide after she sees the weather. 
Tomorrow we arrive for 3-4 days on the Almafi Coast. This was supposed to be our warm Mediterranean vacation days. Right now the weather report is for rain, rain, and rain.. Again sometimes things don't go as planned.
One last note... I am still getting regular questions from the local about Trump. They are amazed and afraid such a lunatic could get so far in a USA election..
Either way I will make the best of it and enjoy my time here..
Next report from Amalfi, which even if the weather is bad there is lots to see and do there.

Kim getting a pre-ride nap in.. Did I mention we do a lot of napping? Must be a senior thing.

Wake up time!

My Noble Stead.. Love this bike. Goes anywhere, does anything..
Any arrival celebration...

Wine and cell phones... how can you travel without them??

Our arrival in Rimini, Italy.

Our last blue sky for a while.. :(

Friday AM, cold, raining but still smiling and ready to ride! :)

A very welcome coffee break after a wet cold ride.

Me and my best friend.. ;)

In Italy our ride is powered either by wine or a local drink called a Spritz!

Checking into our hotel after a cold wet day.. Happy to be here.

Wet and cold but still smiling..

See how happy Duane looks??

Downtown Terni..

Notice the lights built into the walking path? Clever.

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