So there we were, standing atop Col de Larche, our bikes resting against a wall. The three of us with blank looks on our faces and a sense of disappointment. We’d spent days cycling over Col’s, down them and back up again, rewarded on each one with a summit sign to prop our bikes against and take the all important proof that we made it. But here having only just crossed into Italy just before the summit, nothing, nothing to say we made it, even the bloody cafe was closed !!
We gathered ourselves, remounted our trusty bikes and set off towards Italy proper and our next stop at Peveragno, near Cuneo. Our sense off disappointment soon faded after the first corner we saw this…
For the next 35km our ride was either downhill or flat, needless to say we made the most of it and took plenty of photos. The scenery was breathtaking, and we felt like cycling gods as we hurtled down this magnificent road 😉
Anyway, you get the idea, it was beautiful !! We stopped for coffee on our way down, our first Italian coffee, cheap and very good. Soon enough we were in the flatlands, the mountains behind us, surrounded now by agriculture…
And soon after that we made it to our first Italian campsite, shock, real shock, from or most expensive 16 euro campsite in France we were now having to pay 45 euros !! It’s not that you get much more for your money it’s just bloody expensive, we were very surprised !! Even more so when we were told that it might get even more expensive as we travelled south towards the Amalfi Coast, Rome and Naples ! Still at least we had grass to put or tents on, we really didn’t see to much of it on our trip !
We pitched our tents, put our electric items on charge and went back into town to do some shopping and take photos of Peveragno, pretty little place…..
Next morning saw us heading for the coast, We’d hit the coast at Savona and follow it down through Genoa before reaching Lavanto and the Cinque Terre. We cycled straight through Savona without stopping, pretty in places….
We stopped at a campsite just beyond Savona in Celle Ligure, hard packed dirt and gravel to put your tent on, cramped little pitch but at least it was close to the sea and a beach !!
It was good to feel the sand between our toes at last even of we didn’t go for a swim, we were more in need of cold beers 😉 The next day saw us heading down the coast towards Genoa, some more lovely scenery on route and a few swanky pads as well…
Riding into Genoa wasn’t all pretty, it was fairly industrial and rather rundown for a long stretch, then you finally reach the tourist area. We stopped in the piazza for a coffee and just let the world go by for a while 😉
The ride out of Genoa quickly becomes suburban..
Our camp would actually be in Nervi, just outside of Genoa, a long day with some good hills already was made even harder by the climb to this campsite. About 4km up a very steep hill to another expensive and not so great camp, hard packed dirt and gravel again, terraces that we couldn’t get our bikes up to. And to cap it all off, a whole load of noisy French school kids that had no idea about personal space…..ahhhhh !
Morning came, but not soon enough, I couldn’t wait to get out of there! At least the ride back to the coast road was downhill although there would be plenty of uphills to come by the end of the day !!
Our route south took us past one of the most famous places on this coat, Portafino, the road along the coast however is several hundred metres above Potafino so to actually get there means cycling down a very steep and long hill. You know as your going down that you’ve got to climb back up at some point, makes it really hard to enjoy ! The ride down however was worth it, Potafino is very beautiful and also rather elite ! Your not even allowed to take your bike in after a certain time in the morning, fortunately we arrived early enough to get in and have coffee before the deadline !!
Just sitting by the water drinking a very good cup of coffee while surrounded by the rather expensive homes and boats was very pleasant. We did however have to get on, that climb back up still beckoned, but first some photos to inspire you…..
Well the climb back out of Portafino was a tough one, at over 600m, we of course started from sea level. With the heat and heavy bikes we found it hard but as per usual the scenery keeps your mind of the pain….
More rolling hills followed, more glorious scenery and more photos until finally we cycled down another huge hill back to the sea and into Levanto. This was another fabulous little coastal town with a great campsite and plenty going on, we’d spend two nights here and take a day off to explore the Cinque Terre.
That’ll do for now !