Road Trip 2015, Day 17 Todi

Damn hot… Bit of and easy day today as I think all the racing around on the bike caught up with me a bit, never woke up until gone 11.00 ! Anyway decided to have a day not on the bike, first day we haven’t been on the bike this holiday…so just wandered around Todi, had a few drinks, few nibbles and of course some gelato…. So no miles today….and just a few pictures of Todi..image image image imageimage image image image image image image

Road Trip, Day 16, Narni

Day 16Getting rather warm now…

Bit of an easy day today, had the weekend blog I wanted to get done before I forgot stuff, still buzzing from it all now….

So stayed local ish, well, local on the map but by the time you’ve gone the scenic route it was still probably 60 miles or so we travelled, heading up to 2,200 miles for the trip so far, looks like a service is in order when we get back as the 24k is fast approaching…

Anyway, Narni was our destination today, small town, very much like Todi, just a little mooch around, Paula chatting to the locals now with a new found confidence after our weekend away, me, hello, please and thank you…never any good with languages..

   
 As always a spot of lunch was found, antipasto & a barley salad for Paula (didn’t sound like something I’d like, meat & cheese for me)

with a steady bimble back, following the river and via a place called Stifone…..

  
With only a few more days left in Todi before we’re homeward bound, although the talk is the temperature is set to hit 40 degrees…..shorts, flip flops and vest on the bike then, Italian style !

Just kidding…

Eating out tonight…Pizza, and very good it was to, unfortunately the Gelateria is closed on Mondays…double portion tomorrow then 🙂  

 

Road Trip 2015, giorno 13 e 14 Triumph Cruisers Italia (versione italiana tramite google translate)

Che week-end fantastico! Abbiamo lasciato l’albergo in Monticatini dopo una buona colazione e con una mattina di uccidere abbiamo spuntata verso Pescia, a soli 20 minuti di distanza da Monticatini, da qualche parte siamo stati qualche anno fa, una corretta piccolo comune italiano, non è un grande luogo turistico, HA una buona classe operaia sentono su di esso. Aveva un caffè e guardare il mondo che passa per un’ora. Lasciando Pescia ci siamo diretti verso Castel Di Casio …. GPS ha detto poco più di un’ora, dopo aver viaggiato lungo alcune di queste strade prima sapevamo che si può prendere un po ‘di più … 1 ora e 45 minuti più tardi abbiamo roll in Castel Di Casio e Lello & Andrea fuori dalla nostra sistemazione per la notte, anche il bar, ristorante, luogo di incontro …. suoi una piccola cittadina .. Un piatto di pasta appena mangiato prima di lasciare il primo giorno della visita mistero di Lello … Bonnies, scrambler , Speedmaster, America, Rocket e naturalmente il nostro Thunderbird …. è stato molto tempo prima eravamo raschiando il gas di scarico su entrambi i lati era abbiamo strappato attraverso la campagna, con pause momentanee come Lello puntato verso qualcosa, o forse era solo essere italiani e agitando le braccia intorno chissà …. un posto meraviglioso, le strade può essere un po ‘interessante, soprattutto quando si guida sul lato’ sbagliato ‘…. dell’Appennino, un paio di passaggi, un paio di laghi a smettere di ‘aperitivo’ e ancora indietro per un pasto di notte in trattoria a Castel di Casio, dopo un cambio rapido. Il cibo è venuto fuori in un modo tipicamente italiano casuale, pane, salumi, formaggi, qualcuno grida “dolce” così sembrava fino alla cucina a venire con qualcosa, tutto perfettamente normale in Italia ne sono sicuro, ma si otterrebbe un paio sembra strano se si è tentato a casa … di acqua naturalmente e vino sul tavolo in ogni momento con il caffè alla fine, anche se strettamente parlando c’è stato un po ‘qualcosa di più forte per finire con! Per fortuna abbiamo solo dovuto precipitare dietro l’angolo per la nostra camera come un temporale stava facendo del suo meglio per pulire le moto off per noi che sono stati rinchiusi a casa di Lello. Colazione la mattina successiva è stata presa, nel bar come il mercato fuori era in piena attività come tutti noi dovevamo essere pronti a partire alle 10.00 sharp ….. 10.30 andavano e venivano ….. 11.00 …… ora di andare di dire Lello, borbottando qualcosa sul tempo di conservazione italiano! Una corsa più breve questa mattina a un ritmo più semplice, un piccolo paese di montagna, deve essere un modo così diverso di vivere quassù, più facile, ma più difficile …. troppo tempo per un aperitvo prima di nuovo fuori in un altro vivace ritmo torna a Castel Di Casio per il pranzo. Non ho idea di quello che un pranzo in famiglia tradizionale sarebbe come ma sono abbastanza sicuro che questo sarebbe chiuso … per il cibo, il vino, tanti brindisi a cose diverse, entrambi ci sentivamo parte di qualcosa, non era del tutto sicuro di cosa si trattasse ma si sentiva bene … entrambi abbiamo detto che dobbiamo migliorare la nostra, le mie competenze linguistiche sono quasi inesistenti italiana, mentre Paula sono di gran lunga migliore, sembra prendere le cose molto più veloce di me, ma quando si va a questi luoghi fuori dalla modo si può ottenere un po ‘complicato. Torna a Lello di far salire la moto per tornare a Todi, a tre ore e mezzo giro di distanza, un’altra differenza culturale divenne evidente, nel Regno Unito di lasciare una rapida mano alzata e un “ci vediamo dopo” e il fuori del porta, ma non in Italia, è come se si sono mai andare a vedere di nuovo, non sto dicendo che non va con qualsiasi mezzo, è una gran cosa e basta …… molto italiano !!! Un weekend fantastico in tutto, molti a tutto ciò che ha reso così speciale, a molti di nome, una coppia che ha aiutato a tradurre in particolare, non voglio fare nomi, ma sanno chi sono e ……… naturalmente Lello, assolutamente unico … uno dei momenti salienti del nostro viaggio di sicuro. Grazie ragazzi! Una volta che siamo a casa mi atterrei un link al video qui.
  
                    

Road Trip 2015, Day 13 & 14 Triumph Cruisers Italia

What an awesome weekend !

We left the hotel in Monticatini after a good breakfast and with a morning to kill we popped over to Pescia, just 20 minutes away from Monticatini, somewhere we had stayed a few years back, proper little Italian town, not a big tourist place, has a good working class feel about it. Had a coffee and watched the world go by for an hour.

Leaving Pescia we headed towards Castel Di Casio….GPS said just over an hour, having travelled along some of these roads before we knew that it may take a little longer…1 hour 45 minutes later we roll into Castel Di Casio and Lello & Andrea outside our accommodation for the night, also the bar, restaurant, meeting place….its a small town..

A plate of pasta soon eaten before leaving on day one of Lello’s mystery tour…Bonnies, Scramblers, Speedmasters, Americas, Rocket and of course our Thunderbird….it wasn’t long before we were scraping the exhaust on both sides was we tore through the countryside, with momentary pauses as Lello pointed at something, or maybe he was just being Italian and waving his arms around who knows….an amazing place, roads can be a little interesting, especially when riding on the ‘wrong’ side….Appennino Mountains, a couple of passes, a couple of lakes a stop for ‘aperitivo’ and still back for a meal at night in the trattoria in Castel di Casio after a quick change. Food came out in a typically random Italian fashion, breads, meats, cheeses, somebody shouts “dolce” so it seemed up to the kitchen to come up with something, all perfectly normal in Italy I’m sure but you’d get a few strange looks if you tried it at home…of course water and wine on the table at all time with coffee to finish, although strictly speaking there was a little something stronger to finish with !

Luckily we only had to dash around the corner to our room as a thunderstorm was doing its best to clean the bikes off for us that were locked away at Lello’s house.

Next morning breakfast was taken, in the bar as the market outside was in full swing as we all had to be ready to leave at 10.00 sharp…..10.30 came and went…..11.00……time to go say’s Lello, mumbling something about Italian time keeping !

A shorter run this morning at an easier pace, a pretty little village in the mountains, it must be such a different way of life up here, easier, yet harder too….time for an aperitvo before setting back off at a more brisk pace back to Castel Di Casio for lunch.

I have no idea what a traditional family lunch would be like but I’m pretty sure this would be close…food, wine, many toasts to different things, we both felt part of something, wasn’t completely sure what it was but it felt good…we both said we must improve our Italian, my language skills are almost non existent while Paula’s are far better, she seems to pick things up a lot quicker than me but when you go to these places out of the way it can get a bit tricky.

Back at Lello’s to pick up the bike to head back to Todi, a three and a half hours ride away, another cultural difference became apparent, in the uk on leaving a quick hand raised and a “see you later” and your out of the door, but not in Italy, it’s as if you are never going to see each other again, I’m not saying it wrong by any means, it’s a great thing and just……very Italian !!!

A great weekend in all, many to all that made it so special, to many to name, a couple who helped with translating especially, I won’t name names but they know who they are………and of course Lello, totally unique…one of the highlights of our trip for sure.

Thanks guys !

Once we’re home I’ll stick a link to the video here.

 

                      

Road Trip 2015, Day 13, Siena & Triumph Criusers Italia

Hot & Sunny…

Time to pack up a few things as this weekend we have our weekend break within our Holiday. 

We are joining with the Triumph Cruisers Italia and heading into the hills, about an hour north of Lucca so instead of doing the 4 hour ride from our place in Todi we thought we’d split the journey and have a stop in Monticatini, the same place as we stayed on the way down, it’s only £35 a night..

So we left Todi and headed for Siena for lunch, a couple of hours ride away. Again, if your ever down that way call into Siena there’s plenty of bike parking, finding it can be the problem……… 

The centre or Campo is home to a great horse race, the Palio, where all the districts or Contrata have their own riders, I believe its pretty insane to watch and also very expensive to get good seats ! 

         The sand track was laid ready for the horses, you can see that in the pictures as the racing takes place this year on the 2nd July, grabbed a quick bite just before all the tables had to be cleared to allow the track maintenance team to water and prepare it.

Its a great atmosphere there, one year we managed to time it when there was a parade, the place was buzzing…….

Gelato….Italian ice cream, you may think you have had good ice cream…..nothing can prepare you for Gelato, the choice and the flavour is awesome. 

 Back on the bike the final hour and a half into Monticatini, one thing we overlooked, rush hour in Florence ! after about 4 km’s of filtering in sweltering afternoon heat a change of road and another 2 km’s of filtering, Paula said she kept her knees in and closed her eyes, I think it helped !!!

Booked a table in the hotel restaurant tonight, been impressed with our visits so far so thought we’d give it a go.

Allora (So), Triumph Cruisers Italia tomorrow, meeting them in Castel del Casio at 2pm, all 30 of them, no idea where we’re going or where we’re staying, Lello has sorted all that……OMG the place we’re staying might not have WIFI !!!!!!!
About 175 miles today I reckon…

Road Trip 2015, Day 12, Perugia

Sunny again….

Up and at ’em at a decent hour this morning, a couple of cups of decent coffee and a shower and we’re ready to go, Perugia today, been before but never got much time to look around so thought we’d spend the day there.

Got down to the bike, pushed it away from the wall and noticed a pool of oil on the floor about the size of a saucer, I know old Triumphs have been known to loose a bit but this one has never lost a drop. A quick look underneath and the sump was very wet and a drop hanging off the sump plug, checking the oil level it wasn’t noticeably down but concerned that over one of the many lumps and bumps we’d been over some damage may have been done to the sump, do they do sump guards for Thunderbirds ?

Triumph in Perugia have been helpful before when we called in last year so I thought it wise to get them to check it out, we were that way anyway. 

 The guy there spoke very little english and the Italian I knew was certainly not bike related but we managed to understand each other. After waiting for the oil to cool the bike was put on the ramp and a thorough inspection took place, luckily it seemed it was only the sump plug washer that needed replacing, so the oil was quickly drained, new washer fitted to the plug and tightened, the the oil, after a discussion on how old the oil was, 4000 miles I replied, “its still good” the Triumph guy said, so he put the old oil back in…cost…10 euros… 

 with that issue sorted we made our way to the centre of Perugia, using the principle, keep going up ! As usual plenty of bike parking available, something not uncommon in Italy, and off to find a spot of lunch in one of the many places in the main street.  

  

 Paula wanted to get her nails done so off we went in search of a nail salon…..almost stumbling upon one by chance she was booked in 30 mins later………

No idea what goes on in these places but she came out with new bright red nails….mission complete !


Heading back out of Perguia in rush hour was a bit of a nightmare, numerous wrong turns but we made it in the end…
Eating out in one of the few restaurants we haven’t tried tonight…
About 50 miles or so today.Heading back out of Perguia in rush hour was a bit of a nightmare, numerous wrong turns but we made it in the end…

Eating out in one of the few restaurants we haven’t tried tonight…

About 50 miles or so today.

Road Trip 2015, Day 11 Lake Trasimeno

Woke up in the middle of the night to a huge storm going on outside, thunder and lightening, maybe 4am…Paula said I jumped when the first clap of thunder happened…didn’t know I was scared of storms ! Anyway by the time came to get up the storm had cleared through and it was clear blue skies again, felt a bit fresher, yesterday it had got very humid, should have know a storm was coming.
Today marks the halfway point on our holiday, sad that half has gone already but pleased we still got another 10 days to go !
Anyway, breakfast done and we changed our plans a little, we have a weekend away with some guys from the Triumph Cruisers Italia this weekend, a holiday within a holiday ! we were going to visit Lake Trasimeno on the way up to the meet but decided that going via Siena may be a better route so decided to go to the lake today, Castiglion del Lago to be precise. Not the greatest of roads up, but we needed fuel so the main road was quick and covenient, when you fill up with fuel you do have to be a bit careful what pump you pull up on, some are self service and some have attendents that fill your tank up for you, nice but the fuel on these pumps is a little dearer, only a few cents though, the fuel in Italy seems to be around €1.50-€1.60 a litre and diesel about €0.30 cents less also fuel on moterways seemed to be roughly the same price not the over inflated prices we see in the uk.
Having arrived in Castiglion del Lago, riding right around the lake to get there, the centre of these little towns is usually quite easy to find, you just keep going up, or failing that just look for the Duomo. a lot of the small towns have pedestrianised centres or residents only schemes, generally as long as your sensible you can get to most places on a motorcycle, no one seems to worry, just park somewhere out of the way and your fineimage
….or we have been so far ! The old town wasn’t that big although big enough to give your legs a stretch. Lunch was to be had at a lovely little restaurant over looking the lake, a couple of bowls of pasta went down a treat along with a bit of banter with the waiting staff.

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The way home had to be better so the maps came out a route across country was plotted, another reason why you should never just rely on GPS and what a route it was, Paula declared it our best road yet, I think the twistes from the other day took some beating, but either way it was a very pleasant trip back, twice as long but who cares about that when your on holiday ! even the tracker behaved itself ish so I’ll post the route up, just the bit around Todi was missing this time !

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Eating in tonight as we had some decent nosh out although I imagine a stroll up the road for some gelato later !

Total miles about 125 today

Road Trip 2015, Day 10 Carsulae

Sunny again….
Took it easy today, lounged around a bit and done a few domestic chores in the morning.

Got on the bike around midday and popped over to Carsulae, an old roman town, not much left of it now but the site is all well laid out with maps and plenty of things to read along with a museum and cafe, well worth the 5 euro entry charge.

  
   Taking the long way back we called in at the supermarket to pick up a few bits and bobs…..did you know its cheaper to buy wine than coke…

Fancied a proper pizza tonight, no antipasti tonight, just to make sure we had room for dolce..

Paulas Italian seems to be coming back, the phrases are starting to join together, mine sadly was never there to start with, how come some people are good with languages and others not ?

Did find out tonight that we were the best tippers in town as we inadvertently left a 30% tip ! oh well, at least we are assured of good service next time we go there…

Not many miles today, maybe 50 tops…

Road Trip 2015, Day 9 Titignano & Lake Bolsena

Sun shining as usual, nice to be able to say that, not blisteringly hot, high twenties low thirties but more importantly it say warm through the evening…
Anyway, deciding to visit a small village or hamlet called Titignano, apparently owned buy a Italian Prince, not surew if its true, maybe just a story for the tourists ! seemed to be mainly used for weddings, pretty, cracking views but just as well for us it’s not just about the destination its just as much about the journey 🙂 this was on a road between Todi and Orvieto, not the main road, a road we had travelled many times but a kind of back road, a road that went over the hills, a road that if you straightened it out would be twice as long as the destination, because of this little traffic used it and the road surface was in remarkably good condition for an Italian road !

  
 As Titignano was only about halfway along we decided to carry on down the road to Orvieto, a place we’d been before but the road was to good to be ignored. Once reaching Orvieto…


…..and having no plan on a destination, thinking on the hoof we headed down to Lake Bolsena again somewhere we’d been once before but not had time to look around.


Lovely down by the lake, cool breeze blowing, water lapping as we sat under the trees eating a light lunch and watching the world go by.

  
 Back on the bike we followed the shoreline round as far as we could before heading back to Todi, along the normal roads we would of taken between Todi and Orvieto, if that makes sense ! great roads all day, twisting and winding through the countryside, not superfast riding by any means but sometimes getting a series of corners right is even better, if you own a bike you’ll understand !

Lovely plate of pasta and a fine glass of Montifalco red this evening……along with a glass of lemoncello !

About 125 miles today…

Road Trip 2015, Day 8 Sibillini National Park

Up bright and early this morning, Sun shining not a cloud in the sky.

Last year we were unable to go to the Sibillini National Park because things didn’t work in our favour so this time it was one of those things that was on the top of the list, were trying to do all the things we never get round to doing and avoiding the ones we’ve done many times, Assisi, Pisa, etc…although there are some exceptions, Lucca is one…I’m sure there will be others.

Once the bike was loaded, route planned, cameras ready we set of, via Spoleto and on to Norcia on the edge of the Sibillini’s.

  
 Great ride up from Spoleto to Norcia, the bit before was main roads but this section was nice a twisty, good road surface and views a plenty. I’ll take a moment to talk about the tracker I had fitted to the bike, the idea was that I could download the maps so I could post up the route, what a waste of time, I think it misses more than it picks up, utterly useless, not a happy chappy, I’ll stick the map up so at least you can see roughly where we were..


Anyway, Norcia, Famed for Tartufo & Cinghiale (truffles & wild boar) and also a meeting point for Sunday rideouts it seemed, bikes everywhere !


After fining somewhere to park we took a walk through town, the centre closed off to traffic, not sure this is all the time or just on Sundays, we had a look around for something to eat but not wanting a full restaurant experience we settled for the little bar (cafe) right next to where parked the bike, Pannini ordered along with coffee..

Back on the bike we carried on along the road towards Castelluccio, the roads getting more and more twisty as it climbed, the air now noticeably cooler, fantastic road, I can really see why this piece of road is so popular amongst bikers.

  
  
 
The small town of Castelluccio was closed off to cars as it seemed the bikes had taken over the town, quite a sight, carrying on along the final section of the plain the road slowly started to descend, then steeper with hairpin bend after hairpin bend, few cars around to slow the decent but at least this meant you could enjoy the scenery. I think I pretty much filled up a memory card on the Drift camera so should be interesting to see what I can put together when we go home.

Sat Nav throw a bit of a wobbly on the way back, had us going down the same road 3 times, Navigated back using the road signs, old school..
About 150 twisty miles today..