Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Three     Crossing Italy

General Prognosis is This is Suicide

Yesterday I would have agreed as that was the most dangerous ride of my life when I went from Ancano to Civitanova ... right after the ride from Pyrgos to Patras.

However, I did re-balance things and abandoned some of my stuff as well with the result of a better balance and an improved riding position, both of which work to move this from suicidal to dangerous but manageable.

What I've been doing today has been working my way up the eastern coast of Italy to cut over toward Bologna at Rimini and I'm just north of Rimini now.  However it took me about seven hours to get here from Civitanova.  I'm not at all trying to break any records and I'm driving the scooter at 65% of its capacity as I rarely hit 70 kph.  I haven't found other drivers on the road to be a problem as I'm following the general Greek rule of stay right and stay cool.  It requires a good deal of attention but it doesn't require a death wish.

The biggest problem is figuring out the Italian roads as I've now got a very solid idea of who invented spaghetti, either the highway engineers or their domestic partners.  I've been lost multiple times and it's compounded by the fact that hardly anyone speaks a word of English.

The Greek license plate is already causing amusement for people as I stopped earlier and four or five people came out to meet the nutcase who drove a scooter from Greece.  I'm not offended that people would think I'm a nutcase.  In fact, I enjoy it.

While running up the coast today, I found the Scooter Capital of the Universe as it seems they really, really like to go to the beach and there were billions of them. Even in Greece I never saw anything like this. There’s every kind of scooter you could possibly imagine.

As previously, I'm in deep need of help to pull this off.  I'm in a hotel again but that's because I only saw one campground all day and it was €34 to stay there.  The difference between that and a hotel isn't enough to change the game although I'm hoping that will improve as I get more inland toward Bologna. (The reason a hotel isn't that much more expensive is it doesn't have the swimming pools and all the deluxe stuff that Italian campgrounds have got.)

The general plan is to stick with the most level terrain I can find and then cut over to the west coast of Italy from north of Bologna.  I'm staying off the Autostrada as taking that really would be suicide but the other highways are in adequate to very good condition and running at 65 kph isn't a senseless risk.

I will stay to the west coast of Italy over to France and then cut north toward London.  There is some thinking of taking a ferry out of Amsterdam or Rotterdam to Scotland and this would cut out a great deal of the driving in England but I doubt it makes any budgetary sense to do that. It would also be boring as hell.

This account hasn't been too sexy so far and that's mostly as a result of trying to stay alive.  That has nothing to do with hitting on hot Italian women as I'm quite sure Italian men can do that just fine on their own and my interest lies elsewhere in any case.  Stories will come from this expedition and right now I'm trying to ensure they don't involve hospitals.

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Near Rimini on the Italian Coast

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