I would firstly like to take the time to thank Jenny Hamilton for her latest comment. For the last few days Fred and I have been trying to put a name to Archie's characteristics that we have to face in the morning... 'Sergeant-Major Hamilton' is a sterling resemblance!
Ok so for the update, we have been doing pretty well and had actually been able to do 3 days in 2 days so we had to have one day out of kilter.
It started well (apart from the porridge), Fred and I got up and hit the road at the usual 7:30am and were excited to be back onto the flats and ready to pound out the miles. However, they turned out to be less flat than we previously thought with many slow gradual hills and a strong head-wind for us to battle against. Nevertheless we persevered and managed to pound out 41 miles in 2 and a bit hours ready for Archie to sub in. The morning then carried on pretty well for the cyclists and the roads were pretty empty which led to Fred and Arch trying their hands at various synchronised bike manoevers and renditions of all the hymns they could think of! Anything to alleviate the boredom! For the support vehicle driver, it was a little different...
Firstly, the SatNav led me off to some dirt track before cutting out leaving me without a map or means to navigate. So once I had recharged the SatNav and refound the main road I pulled over to the nearest lay-by to re-enter my desired destination. I found one pretty quickly and pulled over. This is when I was pounced upon.. Like a poor helpless puppy trapped in a cage with a lion they made their way over to me and started to eye me up as a piece of meat. They circled and pounced. Thank God for wing mirrors on hearses! I glanced back to see if anything was about to pull in behind me and saw them. Their scarcely clad bodies gave their game away immediately. I was being ambushed by prostitutes! I accelerated away very fast and got lost again!
Luckily we all met up for lunch in the next lay-by, but we were all on red alert. Then it was time for Arch and I to take over the reins and cycle on. Form then on we were prostitute counting and there were oh SO many! I would also like to just add that Fred and Arch chose the route for the day!!
The rest of the day deteriorated quickly with poor road quality, intense heat, getting massively lost and dead smelly rats by stagnant rivers. The situation was made worse by our lack of water and food. We underestimated how far away the campsite was and paid the price. Getting lost after 83 miles of cycling already that day is not fun at all. Especially as our map is so zoomed out that we can't see any detail in built up urban areas, so each roundabout becomes a wild guess as where to go. The route cause of the problem was that the map had marked the campsite in the wrong place. Not helpful, and resulted in us ending up about 10km from where we hoped to be. Yesterday was really pretty horrible but we are now one step closer to leaving Italy behind and tackling some Alps!