Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Three     Crossing Italy

Camping in Eden

Once again, the Sea. The beach doesn't have the white sand beauty of the ones on the east coast but this looks more exotic. It's much more rugged and it's a different feeling from the east coast. This looks very good indeed.

However, the picture is not so good as the camera didn't handle the fall at all well. I won't throw the camera as I still hope if I just fiddle with it enough then it will be magically reborn. You know once in a million years a computer will do that and you'll think, whoa, what happened. I don't care what happened, I just need that camera working again.

Here's where we get to the beauty part, albeit somewhat bittersweet due to the apparent inability of my camera to capture much of it.

Driving along the west coast of Italy on SS1 is one of the most gloriously beautiful visions I have ever seen and the road gives the finest motorcycle riding I have ever experienced.  Motorcycle riding isn't about how fast you can go as any idiot can do that but rather it's about how well you handle corners and there are millions of them on this road with the altitude changing constantly as you progress.  All the while there's what must be one of the most incredibly beautiful coastlines in the world beside you.

There are all kinds of scooter runs in my life and a different kind of privilege is riding with two columns of Harleys as that really is rolling thunder. That's a grand ride and it's a very stylish type of ride but it wouldn't have been what I wanted for this one. There was nothing but the scooter, me and the road in one of the most beautiful places anywhere to ride. Maybe only riders know how good that feels but hopefully you get a taste of it.

Riding was not in my plan as my last big crash was on a Harley but they finally gave me a titanium shoulder a few years ago and, what do you know, that gave my shoulder enough range of motion to ride. They replaced my shoulder but they did not replace my brain and this may explain why I saw logic in riding again even though, by all rights, the last crash should have killed me. Harry had a great deal on a scooter and they're economical even by Euro standards so I was on the road again and today gave me one of the prime reasons for doing it.

Some may want to compare this to State Route 1 up the coast of California and that surely is some gorgeous country but the comparisons make no sense as these worlds are entirely different and the only commonality comes from two wheels underneath you. So I know there are beautiful places to ride but they make me appreciate all the more this one. The west coast of Italy has been a rare experience and still there is more.

It was saddening to me that I couldn't get you pictures but this trip is far from over. I finally found a place for camping and this is a cheesy kind of camping but it still counts at the Eden Park Campground, about twenty kilometers short of Imperia.  I will definitely make it to Sanremo tomorrow and there I hope to visit Busanna Vecchia.  All of this is along the coast on SS1 so there should be plenty more opportunities for photographs.  It's very important to me to share this and now I know I can as I played with the camera for a while and it's working again.

The fall really scrambled the camera but, after resetting some things, it started working perfectly again.  It's a cheap camera but Canon built it and Canon doesn't build junk.

Here is a picture from the Eden Park campground at San Bartolomeo, Italy:

Check out the gravel floor.  Even with that, it was very cool there and I loved it. The people all around me were living in small bungalows, maybe for the summer, and I was quite the mountain man next to that. Cat's tough and I'm sure she could hack it but a gentleman should have found a pad before she arrived. If she were traveling alone, I bet she would just flop on the gravel too but when you travel together you want a little more squish to things.

There was a restaurant on the campgrounds and the sweetest people were running it. They didn’t speak English and it was very funny as we worked out what I might like to eat. Some ladies were camping there and they took pity on my inept efforts to speak Italian. One of them even went down to the campground office with me for expert language assistance from the campground director when our complex menu discussion foundered. Even after that I’m not sure what I ordered but it was very damn good.

Everywhere I go I see the same thing, that people will smile on seeing you trying to speak their language, even if you really butcher it. That you seriously try shows your respect and from there you can make some progress. Sometimes as you talk they will laugh if you really make a mess of it but that's a delight in itself. Everywhere I see what you find is what you bring.

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