Heading To Lake Garda

Heading to Garda Harbour

Well I’ve not written my blog for weeks now as I’ve been working in Lanzarote since December. I need to stop procrastinating and get organised.I left my tablet in the room uploading video clips and went down to the breakfast bar. The hotel breakfast was just what I needed, there were croissant’s, cakes, bread and coffee, . There was a good selection of cold meats on the buffet too, I ordered a coffee and got stuck in. Once breakfast was out-of-the-way I went back to the room, showered and packed. I took my time repacking my gear and when I got the bike out of garage number 2 I took my time loading it, before continuing my journey to Garda.

I followed the SP11 again but ended up on a motorway slip road, another cyclist had passed me earlier and I didn’t see him turn off, so had to backtrack. I stopped for coffee and a Panini and planned another route to get to the SP4. The SP4 was an easy road, reasonably flat with great scenery. I came across a long car port with old dusty cars in, I stopped and asked the lady mowing the lawn if I could film the cars, she said I could, so I spent a few moments checking out these unused dusty vehicles.

I arrived on the South West side of Lake Garda around 19:00, the last few miles were down hill so I free wheeled all the way. There was a garden centre which sold huge fibreglass statues at the bottom of the hill just before the road which seemed to run along the lake, I continued around the lake until I came to the first campsite. I didn’t setup straight away, I just dumped my great under a tree near the campsite office and went for a look around. I walked along the lake edge, the views were magnificent and I was happy I’d made it this far. The tent hadn’t been dry for a few days so it was getting mouldy and was damp but luckily it dried out overnight so I had a few more days until I needed to wash it. I didn’t sleep well as my sleeping mat had a slow leak, I thought it might be the seam as there was no apparent hole but I didn’t bother to find out or repair it.

The next morning I was up and away early, I followed the water’s edge as best I could, the scenery was spectacular and I was in a really good mood. I stopped to rest and film along the way as well as check my route. I was heading for the ferry across the lake but when I arrived at the town, the market was on and the ferry wasn’t. I pushed on until I arrived at the next ferry stop along the lake, only stopping for food and water at a penny market. The ferry was busy but I managed to get my bike onboard and we set sail across lake Garda to Garda itself, the journey took about 30 mins it was a hot sunny day. I was in such a good mood, if the ferry had sunk I would still have enjoyed the swim to the shore, luckily it didn’t. I arrived in Garda mid afternoon and was a bit cheeky getting off the boat, I used my bike to block people passing so they had to let me off first. I wandered the streets looking for WiFi so I could contact Amy Norton who I had worked with in Sorrento the previous year.

Garda was impressive a beautiful lake front resort with a tree-lined promenade full of ice cream parlours, cafes and restaurants with the odd shop in between. It seemed most of the shops were on narrow cobbled streets leading off the promenade. I walked with my bike along the edge of the lake enjoying the atmosphere, I walked towards the church then along some alleyways until I came to a small square with either another church or a town hall. I struggled to find WiFi but eventually stopped for a drink in a bar called Pegas and got an hours free WiFi. It turns out the bar was just around the corner from Amy’s apartment which she shares with the resort manager. We arranged to meet in another bar called Catullo close to the ferry dock when Amy had finished work. I went to find the bar and as it was such a hot day I sat outside for a rest and updated my journal. I’d been told the local drink was a spritz and it was obvious ice cream was popular too, so I ordered a banana split and a spritz and contacted Amy. I managed to make my drink last 2 hours before Amy arrived, Amy looked well and allowed me to bend her ear, I told her what trouble I had got myself into along my journey. It was over 30 minutes before Amy even got her drink as I was talking too much. We headed back to Pegus bar close to her home and ate pizza as we caught up. The company, food and beer were all appreciated. I was tired and Amy had offered for me to stay the night, so I locked my bike up in the garage and took my gear upstairs. I borrowed Amy’s washing machine and grabbed a shower before getting into bed making sure all my gadgets were plugged in overnight.

The apartment was big with 3 bedrooms, lounge, kitchen and a decent bathroom from the balcony you could see the mountains which surrounded Garda. I was wide awake by 06:30 I stayed in my room whilst Rob got ready for his early airport shift, I updated my blog and at 07:00 showered and shaved. Amy had to be in the office by ,08:25 so I was back at Catullo for breakfast by 08:30. I ordered omelette, it arrived too quickly I thought it was premade and just heated up, either way it still tasted good. I had a message on Facebook from Simona who had the afternoon off so I cycled to Bardolino to meet her. It was a very pleasant 10 min ride along the water’s edge. I arrived early around 10:00 and sat on a bench right on the water’s edge where I updated my blog. I had to move a few times, as the sun rose into the sky as it was too bright to see the screen on my tablet.

I pushed the bike whilst looking around Bardolino, it was such a lovely place with great architecture, very 1920’s Italian. I came across a campsite called San Nicolas, it wasn’t cheap but I checked in any way. Plot 153.

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I contemplated about writing a blog at New Year and thought long and hard about what I would talk about? Do I reflect on the previous year or do I focus on the New Year and what I want to get out of it. One thing is for sure I would love to see a huge development in predictive text and auto correction, why? Well writing a blog on a Google nexus 7 tablet, especially after the update to lollipop is a pain in the arse, like the name lollipop it sucks.

It’s 17:25 on New Years Eve and soon I’ll be going out to Rancho Texas in Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote, so this blog won’t be completed today.

So what did I achieve in 2014, of course it has to be my Adventure at Fifty project of cycling solo from London to Venice. I did have plans to continue but as you may already know the money ran out. Meeting the Belotti family was the best unexpected event of the year and goes to show that there are some amazing people in the world. My daughter turning 18 was a huge moment especially as the photos in my wallet are now 10 years old, it’s amazing how fast time slips by. My mother who backpacked France at 74, shows that if you put your mind to it you can create adventure and some great memories at any time in life. The worst part of 2014 was of course getting caught up in the NHS system and being out of work for over a year when it should have been only 3 months if they had operated when I returned from Italy in 2013. In the end 2014 past by and taught me a great deal.

2015 will start as a way to save money for my next adventure, I’m working in Lanzarote, which is an experience! I have already started back on the road to becoming an instructor for PADI and as soon as my cold goes I’ll be back under the ocean. This week I’ll write out a bucket list for the year, I’ve never made New Year resolutions but I want to achieve a lot this year. My project for the end of this year is to cycle across Asia from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, this will take a huge amount of planning and I’ve got to get it spot on. I have set up a Facebook event to see if anyone wants to join me.

My 2015 bucket list:-

Improve my Spanish
Complete my OWSI Open Water Scuba Instructor course
Dive with the Submarine in Lanzarote
Cycle across Asia
Create an income stream from website building and maintenance
Meet a Woman crazy enough to join me on my Adventures

So I hope all your dreams and plans come true, I learnt that the biggest step is the first one.

Here’s to a great 2015

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