Ending up with 6 parts this will be the last of the bucketlist 2020.
The start of this part is the day after the one day break and for once something in the mortgage adventure had a perfect timing.
We planned a daybreak in Pompeii to visit the ruins from the eruption of the Vesuvius in the year 79 and the 2 nights we spend in an apartment with a washing machine.
It was a great apartment and a very friendly landlord living next door on the gated compound which was ideal because the bikes are safe that way.
Due to Covid it was a hassle to get a mortgage and it’s already months waiting and trying to get it approved. In the quick check there should be no reason not to get it approved so i bought the house and the transfer date was set also but i had to wait for the quote to sign off to make everything official.
Every-time they needed something new from me or my ex, it all had to do with the fact that my ex would keep our old house. She needed approval for the mortgage but i had to get out of that one and that was also the problem for my new mortgage but just after we arrived at the apartment i got a mail with the quote.
The new challenge was to find a place where i could print, scan and mail. The Italian landlord was not very good at English so he called a tenant who also helps him with the maintenance of the property. Seemed there was a small book- and office supply store just 20 meters up the street where i could do that.
Now that’s official i could stop worrying and enjoy even more starting with visiting the ruins the next day.
I only have to get one paper signed before the transfer day but more on that later.
The next day we moved on with a short look at the Vesuvius and then going up north again with one more week to go.
During that section we decided that the camping i had in mind probably was going to be a dead end due to the experiences in the past 2 weeks. We changed the route a bit and ended up at a campsite just north of Rome at Logo di Bracciano.
At that campsite we decided that the next day we go our own way, i tend to go a little extreme. On this trip that was in the challenging roads through the inlands and the long days. In combination with the hot weather (30+C) that was getting a bit much for Michel and therefore we’d thought it was better he went home before it gets unsafe.
That it’s not an issue for me is just that it was my trip to begin with and therefore my way of travelling, i’m more experienced with long days and i’m blessed with a ridiculous energy level (and sometimes it’s more a curse).
The next day i went to find the way back to the track we left the previous day and the first 2 hours i thought Michel could have done this day after all…. but then the temperature started rising… and rising… and rising with almost no shade.
The roads where nice and smooth also only learning later that day it’s getting more challenging until the point where the asphalt was so bad that i had to use a lot of rear brake to back-up the bouncing front due to the potholes.
The road was a Fiat Panda size with hairpin turns on a more than 20% slope and i was in my element but because of that i was going also pretty fast for that particular road with fading brakes as a result, time to slow down a little.
Also not a bad thing because the view was just beautiful.
This section ended just south of Pisa. I overnighted at a agri camping but i didn’t get the “agri” in this. The only farmer related item was an old tractor parked in a corner unlike the place we stayed in the beginning of the second week, that was a proper farm.
But at least the campsite was where it supposed to be.
I’m not a big fan of touristic places but the crooked tower of Pisa was just 15 minutes from the campsite so i’m early. A quick coffee with a view on the tower and quickly moving on, not sure how quit it would be due to the Corona limits and not very much tourists but i don’t like masses of people (hence the not a fan part).
It was another great day of driving, little did i knew that the chaos would start at the planned campsite.
The day was long but i had a good pace and didn’t took a lot of breaks. I have a 3L camelback to keep hydrated on the run.
At the end the was indeed a campsite just like iOverlander said but they’re already closed.
I started the next section and tried to find a place to stay for the night along that section starting at a B&B not far form the campsite but no room free. The owner went with me to another B&B just around the corner but the same so i went on.
After another hour riding i found a place but it looked very fancy, let’s check the internet and yes…. €85 for a night… no way.
Finally found something just over halve an hour further of the track.
I had to give up the credit-card to get the mortgage (stupid rules) and therefore i couldn’t pre book the place and i had to take a gamble.
It was i nice and quit town and they still had a room with a shower just for €20 and a safe place for the bike… fianaly, i was now 11 hours on the road with i think about 2, maybe 2,5 hours break.
Still had to eat but it was a simple place without a kitchen. The closest restaurant was a kilometre away but closed on Mondays, the only other in the region was 3km in the next town.
I didn’t want to take the bike because i would like a beer also. You should’ve seen the faces when i said i go take a 3km walk and 3 back.
Like i said, the chaos was about to start. When i came at the door there was a sign it was closed due to vacation (holiday season just ended in Italy).
When i left the town i stayed i saw a café, maybe they have some snacks or at least something to eat (if not i still had some survival packs) so i went for the beer and they had lasagna… perfect so i took a second portion and another beer and went back to the B&B.
New day fresh start.
Halve an hour on the road the first obstacle. the road from the big roundabout was a one way road in the wrong direction and the next exit didn’t exist, the first exit was a toll highway and i ended up getting back. That meant going over 2km back without an option to take an easy alternative route so turning around and reluctantly taking the toll road.
I took a card and luckily after 5km i already could exit and get back on track. At the exit i had to pay for the distance but the machine refused my card. After several tries i went to the second and only other gate where i could pay with a normal bank card or cash but the same.
I rang for help but i couldn’t understand the Engtalian of the clerk and the machine keeping to tell me i have to put he card in the slot didn’t help either.
At last somebody came out and a good 15 minutes later i could finally continue.
I was on the way to the Swiss border and another hour later a message came on screen on the Garmin XT “The travel advice for Switzerland has changed”…. uh oh…
Normally you can stop about everywhere in Italy but just now i couldn’t until a few km further.
2 regions of Switzerland where given a code orange (don’t travel unless necessary and a quarantine when getting back) and guess which regions! Indeed, the ones i was heading to.
Quick new plan. Going to Austria and see from there but the place i wanted to go had a route from where i was going through Switzerland so just go in the direction in need.
After one and a halve hour i finally found a coffee place and was trying to get the route to the place i wanted but still over Switzerland.
Then i decided to go towards lake Garda where i took a lunch and plotted a route. I had about 4 hours driving behind me and 4 more to go and planned to go another 2 hours to the Austrian border and have a coffee while making the final decision for the day.
You thought the chaos was compleet? Think again.
At the coffee break i got another email, remember i had to sign one more paper? This mail was about that.
It had to be signed at the notary’s office but i could authorize the clerk from the office by signing the paper and make a selfy with the signed paper in one hand and my passport in the other showing both documents and my face.
After signing they could register it and then i’m free to actually get the house transferred on my name.
But now it seems that they can prepare the papers after that but for registering they do need the original signed document…..!!!!????
That was nice if it was still a week or more, than i could sent it by mail but by now i probably would be home sooner than the mail gets there and than it would be very close and possibly 1 or 2 days too late.
New plan. I was going to find a place to sleep and then take some small roads home but now it would be better to find another place to sleep on the fastest way home. Than i’ll be home in time for the signing appointment and have the original signed document there and in time.
Finished my coffee and moved on to hit a closed road due to an terrible accident just 20 minutes into the latest plan. At least a little luck, another biker knew the region and had a detour (in the mountains there are mostly not many) limiting the delay to less than 15 minutes.
I still had some nice roads before i get to the hundreds of kilometres of highway, let’s enjoy it.
The two hours driving i planned where about to end but i didn’t eat yet, better find something to eat first before everything is closed.
I was trying to find a hotel already but not successful and by the time i found a place to eat i was already in Germany. The choice was a sandwich from whenever or a pizza. After 2 weeks Italy the pizza would be disapointing but could it be worse than the sandwich?
Yes it could… They didn’t had tomato sauce enough so they sliced some watery tasteless decoration tomato’s over the pizza dough with some factory cheese… what the fuck… are you kidding me??
Got pissed and didn’t pay for it.
And still no place to sleep, by now it was 23:00h and at this time the small B&B’s or pensions are not reachable any-more. Next door was a hotel but one you check in with an app.
Another 45 minutes later i found a kind of hotel i was looking for, the kind you can check in 24/7… If there was no corona…. “Due to corona there is no night reception, check in is possible between 7 and 22”.
Last attempt another hour closer to home but also no success and now it was time for desperate measures, wild camping which is illegal in most parts of Europe.
Now i was not checking for hotels but for green spots on the GPS map away form city’s but close to the autobahn.
It’s not only wild camping which is illegal in Germany but also offroading almost everywhere, double challenge.
Not much further i found an exit with most likely some forest. First track, no… back to the main road and a left turn a bit later, then a right onto a dirt track (hail auxiliary lights), another right more dirt and what looks like a nice spot for a tent… good enough.
Just wanted a short rest so putting up the tent with the bare minimum parts. Even in the pitch-dark with a small camp-light it took me just a few minutes.
Only taking my boots off i slept for 2 hours and within halve an hour later i was back on the road.
First gas station i wanted to get a coffee but both machines out of order for cleaning… why not one by one like here in the Netherlands???
Just moving on and by now it was 22 hours after leaving the last B&B and time for breakfast.
At least a place that is open early with a proper breakfast. 3 hours riding ahead until home.
I was planning to get home that evening but at 9:30 i was home, 25 hours with 2 hours sleep and 1461km and a full day early for signing.
That day ended at 1:00 at night.
Was it crazy? Yes. Will you do it again? Whenever i can!!!!