DAY 38 – WHERE ARE WE ??

We should have known better, we should have listened to that little voice in the back of our heads that said ”Don’t leave the highway”   Our ”B” road experiences have  only been bad in France and Italy, every other Country is fine because they have  road signs. All we had to do today was cross Italy, looks easy on a map, and up the coast a little to the port of  Ancona where we catch the ferry for the long crossing to Igoumenitsa in Greece.

To compound what is to become a difficult day, we are both a little unwell with tummy upsets today, last nights raw meat sandwiches, which are very popular here incidentaly, have had me sat on the throne a couple of times this morning before we left the campsite. I know its not a popular thing to say in today’s World of vegetarians and food Fascists, but real food, safe food, tasty food,  comes in tins. Why ? do you ask, well tinned, packaged and processed food is the best because of all the chemicals put in to kill the bacteria.

Those of you who have been to Europe will know that this is the home of fungus and bug covered cheese, and where bits of dead pigs are hung up for weeks on end where any passing fly can take a dump on it, then its  sliced up and put in sandwiches….it’s just barbaric !

About 50km north of Rome we started to cut across Italy, all was well for a while, we even found an old Roman aqueduct and went off along the dirt roads to find more of it.

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The Italian country side was really beautiful  early in the morning, I enjoyed the dusty dirt roads snaking around the hills.

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Very pleased we found more aqueduct, and I was pleased with half an hours dirt road riding we returned to the road and carried on inland. All was going so well this morning, plenty of sign posts  pointing the way, we got to Viterbo with barely a hiccup. Viterbo was a very large and busy town, not what we expected and surrounded by enormous walls.

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It transpires that this huge fort like structure is the Pope’s summer retreat, no wonder we found Viterbo so easily,  its the home of the Papal Palace.

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It took us a few attempts to get out of Viterbo, if you wanted to head for Rome or Florence it was easy and well sign posted,  but anywhere else was not, with the help of   friendly locals we found the roads  leading out and headed East towards Temi. On the map the road to Temi looks like a straight  highway, it even has E45 stamped on  it, (E means European Highway) but the reality was, its just a normal country road, but no worries we had plenty of time before the evening boats left for Greece.

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Many of you Dear Readers have commented in the past ”How come you get lost so often.”   The problem is country specific, France and Italy being the worst because the following scenario keeps occurring, you approach an un sign posted ‘Y’ junction or fork as they call it in the States, you have a 50/50 chance of taking the correct way, next an unmarked crossroads, a 1 in 4 chance of being correct, when your in the countryside you can go for miles without seeing a sole or town. Then the games begin when you find a town  or village and its not marked on the map, ”Where are we,”  you ask local people, then they point you off over hills and Vally’s to another village, and so on, a few hours of this in France and Italy will be normal without a GPS.

Then, in the middle of nowhere three road signs, Florence, Siena and Rome, we followed the Florence and Siena signs on roads that were not  shown on our map, pretty countryside views but slow progress towards our goal.

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We started at 06.00 this morning, its only 300km from Rome to Ancona as the crow flys, now its midday, we are somewhere near Siena and have covered over 500km according to my trip counter, and we are nowhere near Ancona. We know there are highways around, we can see them on our map, but no ‘Autostrade’ signs to guide us to one, on the plus side we got to see lots of pretty countryside.

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The road quality improved as we reached  Siena, our boat leaves at 5.30pm so not much time to explore, but enough time for a quick look at least.

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Because the country lanes spat us out at Senna this then became our new start point to Ancona, there was a major road through Siena and we didn’t want to loose it. Our map showed some of the country roads going across to Arezzo but we decided to give them a miss and take the much longer way round to Florence and then drop down to Arezzo on the highway, it would be much quicker to blast along 150km of motorway than try to navigate 40km of country lanes, trust me !!

We indeed blasted along,  140 to 150kph, we arrieved in the outskirts of Florence, had a quick look at the Dumo then back on the other motorway to Arezzo in the centre of Italy, fortunatly for us Ancona was fairly well sign posted from there being a major sea port. We took a mess of partial motorways and B roads.

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The port of Ancona loomed in the distance, but unfortunatly we were too late for the ship that we wanted, but asking around the ticket offices there was another ferry to Igoumenitsa that evening so I booked the tickets for that one, only 90 Euro’s again.

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It had been a very long day, riding almost 800km to cover the 300km from Rome to Ancona, once on board we headed straight for the launge bar and feasted on cakes, sandwiches and more cakes, neither of us had eaten the whole day because of dicky tummies this morning, but now we made up for it.

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This ship was by no means as grand as the one we had over a month ago from Greece to Italy so we did not feel so bad about the stow away we smuggled on board.

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Some time later when the ship got under way the returant opened, so we feasted once again, the prices on board were quite reasonable at 8 Euro each.

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~ by travelswithmymotorbike on June 14, 2009.

4 Responses to “DAY 38 – WHERE ARE WE ??”

  1. Italian countryside with no GPS, are you mad!!

  2. How does the song go..”I should have known better” lol.

    J

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