|Day 3 Genoa Nervi
After a better night's sleep and a hearty breakfast Ian and I spent the next couple of hours putting our bikes back together. So far it seems that both bikes got here without any significant issues. A test ride later in the day confirmed my initial impressions. By the time we had assembled the bikes, tidied the room and taken our bike bags down to the garage the time was close to noon so we decided to take a walk down to the 'beach' with our smuggled breakfast rolls and have our lunch while watching the waves.
Passing under the railway line we found a substantial walking track running about 10 metres above the water line and lots of rocks with a crystal clear blue sea. There were a few boats, lots of sun bakers and fewer swimmers. In many places there are flat rocks which have clearly been placed there to create breakwaters but they are perfect for sun baking. The sun bakers look a look a little like seals all lined up on rocks. Eventually we found a spot where there was a rocky little swimming hole so we climbed down the rough steps and finally stepped into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The water was cool but not cold and, had the weather been a bit warmer we might have been tempted to have a swim. Just as we were about to continue one is Ian's thongs suffered a terminal break so he tossed them in the bin and we curtailed our walk and returned to the hotel.
It was now time to test the bikes so on with some Lycra, down to the ground floor with the bikes and off we rode along the coast road towards Genoa. It was as if we had never been away, both of us felt immediately at home on the 'wrong' side of the road. The traffic was light with lots of scooters and the route was quite scenic. Sort of a cross between the Great Ocean Road and Beach Road? All went well until we got to a certain roundabout near the city centre and I chose to go straight on only to find that we were on a freeway. I swear that there were no signs prohibiting bicycles and no drivers beeped us but it certainly was not comfortable and we looked for the nearest exit. Unfortunately this exit took us onto a road which appeared to go to an Autoroute or to some car parking . Fortunately there was little traffic and we made an illegal turn onto a one way street which took us back to a safer looking road. As we returned to Nervi we stopped frequently to view the variety of beach developments. Some were quite rudimentary with just a small beach and no facilities while others had extensive beach boxes (presumably for rent) and regimented rows of umbrellas and cabana lounges. Of course it was necessary to stop at a gelateria but the quality of the gelato was not as good as last night.
We reurned to the hotel in time to watch the final 2 hours of today's stage of the Giro d'Italia which was won by Orica Green Edge rider Esteban Chaves to great applause from our audience of mostly Aussies. After this we gathered together for the rider briefing. Wilbert welcomed all riders, explained the essentials about the trip and distributed jerseys, luggage tags and maps. Everyone is quite excited and there was a real 'buzz' in the air.
So, tomorrow we ride. Just a short one of 66 km with about 1200m of climbing. Overnight will be camping but even on this section we will have 5 days of hotel stays, including two of the rest days. I don't know how regular my reports will be now as they will depend upon WiFi access.