Friday, 15 May 2015

Touring through Tuscany

After leaving Imola on Monday morning I headed south west towards Firenze (I don't understand why we translate that to Florence?)
I wanted to avoid using the motorway as usual and looking at a map I found a route that went across country directly towards Mugello.. I found the road completely by accident once I set off. I turned out of the campsite away from the main road and immediately found a signpost with the correct road number on it - Destiny!
At its highest point a cafe and a large parking area mark it out as a well used motorcycle route that is popular with local bikers. Linking Imola to Mugello like it does I'm not surprised ! Some fantastic hillside roads were the entertainment for the day.
Chatting to a guy riding a Triumph speed triple it seems it is the place to go for the local bikers. No surprise there. The Triumph rider ran a safety school to educate bike riders on how to avoid becoming a statistic on the many tight curves. Seems bikers throwing themselves at the scenery is a universal problem. . Only 5 minutes later whilst looking at the said scenery I ran wide into a corner and gently brushed the roadside barrier. . Had a bit of a word with myself after that.
Dropping down out of the hills the quiet roads are replaced with the bustling streets of Firenze. Scooters dart here and there taking every opportunity to get to the front of queues and every spare space on the street is taken up with herds of parked scooters of every description from the oldest vespa to the latest three wheeled yamaha. Ridden by business men, stylish girls and teenagers its seem the way to get around the city is on a small two wheeler.
South of Sienna a peaceful countryside campsite provided a suitable antidote to my frazzled thoughts in Imola. . Time to recharge and do some washing!
On Wednesday I retraced my steps and had a day out in the glorious historic streets of Sienna. Standing in the main piazza del campo where an infamous horse race takes place each year, you get an real sense of the past that still lives in modern day Italy, despite the hoards of tourists and associated businesses that feed off them.
At €8 for an ice-cream they know how to make a living from it. . It was however, worth every cent!
I spent a little time on Thursday with a bit of motorcycle maintenance. The clutch had got a bit tight in the hot city traffic but was easily adjusted. The chain needs no adjustment at all so far which bodes well. . I am a little concerned at the wear rate of the tyres but will see how it goes. Not much i can do if they don't last to Istanbul as planned except buy some more if it comes to it.
After days of wonderful sunshine it seems I have stayed too long in one place and the rain has found me again. . Friday has started with cloudy skies and light rain on the tent.
I still have no suitable WiFi connection to upload the latest set of videos but will get them online as soon as possible.
I'm heading for the west coast next week. Haven't seen the sea yet on this journey.  Time to rectify that.

2 comments:

Adam Soanes said...

Mark, you are living the dream for all of us who have wanderlust, keep going..
I keep saying to my kids .."I know that guy who is going round the whole world!"

Very jealous ....

paxton ellis said...

Glad the scrape was nothing more. Tough to want to stop and take it in but at that rate I would move very little...