The plan for today was to make it to Aqualagna; I fell short by about 15 km.
I had a great nights sleep, and was up at 6:30. Abluted then started packing. Rosalie rang and we had a chat; she’s been a bit worried about my health, but I reassured her that I’m on the mend. Not back at 100%, for sure, but heading thataway. We caught up on all the family gossip and news, then I went down for breakfast.
No hot food, no muesli; but – cornflakes, hot or cold milk, several types of croissant, ditto bread, sliced meats and cheeses, two or three cakes, cup cakes, and a couple of cheese cakes; one cherry, the other strawberry; two types of cordial, and coffee I’d give it a solid 6.
I’d had breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday, and hadn’t ridden far, but still managed to get through a bowl of cornflakes, and then got stuck into the sweet things; the cheese cakes were really special, and I managed a couple of chocolate croissants, washed down with coffee.
Back to my room, cleaned teeth, check I’ve got everything, and down to pay the bill. Italians are loud, and gesticulative; they seem to be on the cusp of a major row when saying hello to each other; the couple paying ahead of me were not happy with their bill, and were letting it be known downtown. I was also surprised by mine – for the room and breakfast we’d agreed on 40 Euro when I booked in, and they’d then charged me 45 for lunch and dinner, which is outrageous – a decent meal anywhere in the past 1,000 km, including Athens, was about 10 Euro, and the food at the hotel was OK, but not special – pasta for lunch, and broccoli and a fish fillet for dinner with a glass of house red followed by a creme caramel – We agreed on 65 Euro – still on the high side, but way better than 85.
I’d looked at paper and online maps last night, and decided not to hit the minor roads to Aqualagna, but to take the SS16 up to Fano, and then head due West on SP3. These are “strade provinciale” roads, maintained by local councils not the state, and are relatively traffic free. The minor roads I’d given up on are called “strade communale”, and see even less traffic, but run all over the place, and are not always signposted at junctions – the assumption is if you’re using them you should know where you’re going. The forecast was for showers, increasing to rain later, and I didn’t want to be referring to paper or online maps at every other road junction.
On the road by 8:30, heading North. Saturday morning, so not much traffic at all; I made a steady mile to Fano, where I misread a sign, and turned left about a kilometre before I should have. It cost me a couple of km, but led me down a couple of quiet lanes I’d otherwise have missed,
and I got back on track without too much hassle. Some rain sprinkles, not much. Lots of cyclists out and about – bunches of 20 or more, singles, couples and smaller bunches, all making a serious mile. Lots of waving, lots of smiles.
I stopped for coffee in Belocchi, then headed on to Cuccurano, where I joined SP3. The sprinkles turned to showers around Lucrezia, and I stopped to put on wet gear; not cold, just didn’t want to get soaked. By Tavernelle the rain was solid, and it stayed that way; by Fossombrone I was also tired, and Aqualagna was still 20 km away.
No hotels in Fossombrone central, so I cycled on. I found the Ristorante Al Lago, which is also a hotel – more like a resort, really, about 5 km out of Fossombrone, so pulled in; I’m not a total masochist, and I was ready to stop. Only 2:30 pm, but that’s enough.
A hot shower, a brief nap, and I’m reading on my tiny balcony. Here’s the view – the hills are creeping closer…….. I’ll keep moving Firenze way tomorrow.
Definitely feeling fitter today than yesterday, but still room for improvement, that’s for sure. I’ll get there though 🙂
See you down the road.