Back to Travel and Watching the Races!

A near panic situation at the start of my current journey – at 4:45 in the morning the car wouldn’t start!  Turns out I likely left the inside light on the day before when I went to the store and overnight and it killed the battery.  My little Sly guy would have been happy if I hadn’t been able to leave – he’d taken to sitting in my suitcase as if I could take him with me (I wish I could!).

A frantic call to a local cab company and they arrived in only 3 minutes to race me to the airport for my first flight.  Second flight left almost on time after de-icing, and I got to spend a few very boring hours in Toronto airport.

We boarded on time, then spent another very boring two hours before leaving – I watched a whole movie.  We had to wait for the catering van to load food – the first one had broken down and they had to send another one or else we would starve.  Then we had to de-ice before taking off.

As usual I didn’t really sleep at all, even though the plane was barely half full and I had some room to stretch out a bit.  Watched another couple of movies, then the first few episodes of ‘White Lotus’.

We arrived in Rome over 1 ½ hours late – passport control was all automatic and no one cared.  Colin was waiting right outside the exit door and off we went.  We stopped just outside Trevi at a nice sosta for the night.

The next morning we passed through Papiano to say hello to Antonio, then continued on to Monte Buono where we had a nice lunch at our favourite restaurant there.  We then went just a little further to the town of San Feliciano where we found a lovely sosta right on the shores of Lago Trasimeno.

We went to Pila the next morning so I could get my hair cut by my Italian barber, stopping along the way at Mugnano for a very nice cappuccino.  After my perfect haircut we headed to Marsciano to visit the phone shop and arrange service so I could get good reliable wi-fi in the campervan.  We got a SIM card that was supposed to have very good capabilities but would take a few hours to ‘become active’.  We went back to the nice spot on the lake and waited, but alas the service never kicked in.

We tried and tried and got very frustrated before giving up, deciding that nothing we were doing was actually going to make it work.

The next morning we returned to the phone place in Marsciano and when even our friend there couldn’t make it work he ‘cloned’ the SIM card and told us again that it would take a few hours to become active.  We chose to go a few miles out of town towards San Venanzo where we pulled into a large parking area and had a bite to eat.

After the local three hour lunch period we returned to the phone place and eventually our friend solved the problem after shutting down and re-starting our mobile router several times with the SIM card in it – yes!!

We then got on the road to one of the ‘Strade Bianche’ sections just outside Asciano – the same place we’ve seen the race from two or three times over the past few years.  There was already one campervan there – from Switzerland – then another couple arrived, both of which were from Italy.

We had a nice quiet night and got up to a sunny, although slightly breezy race-day morning.

We had a good idea when the race was going to arrive – both by watching the GCN coverage on my ipad, as well as the progress of the helis and fore-running vehicles.

The race was neither very dusty nor very muddy.  There had been rain a couple of days before and it had dried out just enough to not be muddy, but not yet dusty.  Good for the riders but not so much for the typical conditions that they are famed for.

I did get a good shot of Alaphillipe and Van der Poel… and also Sagan…

After they had all passed we watched the end of the race on GCN – not really pleased with the finish.  Tom Pidcock from team Evil (ooops – sorry! – Team Ineos) won and the rest raced for second – bunch of losers!  I felt like sicking the dog on them!

Actually the dog in the campervan next door to us was very nice and still a bit of a puppy so not sure if he would have gone after anyone – but they do deserve a bit of a bite in the ass!

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