Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 26 - Fiumaretti to Pisa to Lucca (Friday 21st September)

(67 kms)
From Canterbury - 1626 To Rome - 448
Garmin Record:

After a good breakfast, I left Fiumaretti to ride the 25 kms I was short the previous night to Pietrasanta. It was a good brisk ride along flat roads next to the Mediterranean. Pity I could not see it as every inch of the space between the road and the beach is taken up with restaurants, clubs, camping and holiday resorts. At Pietrasanta, I checked the routes and decided I really wanted to get to Lucca and not bundu bash for the day. So I stayed on the tar. The road to Lucca goes via Pisa so I stopped there for a drink - lemon soda is my latest craze....  and yes the tower is still leaning!  I asked a policeman for directions to Lucca and he showed me the way, remarking that there is a steep hill climb on the way. That did it for me. I'd already ridden 67kms and was not in the mood for another 20 something with a steep hill. I went to the railway station and caught a train to Lucca as they have trains that take bikes.

I arrived in Lucca about 14:00 and easily found my way to the hostel......  simply ride on the wall until you get to the part of town you need. How cool is that? No traffic lights, no one way streets, no cars, excellent.
Keith booked us into a good hostel where I am staying tonight and we'll stay tomorrow.

On arrival I had 2 major priorities. First, laundry, second, take the bike in to be serviced. It has been creaking and groaning a lot the last 3 days. We had a serious chat, my bike and me, and I promised that if it gets me to Lucca I'll take it to the clinic (of course, you understand that was the main motivation behind catching the train, so as not to strain the bike any further). I found a laundry, popped the washing into the machine (my clothes really needed a proper wash so I put on my swimmimg costume, my long sleeve cycling shirt that I hardly wear and shoes without socks so I could wash everything else). There are many bicycle vendors in Lucca because the demand for rental bikes is huge with every visitor wanting to ride around the walls. It's a must do, like going to Pisa and posing for a picture like you're holding up the tower!
Within 20 metres of the laundry I found a bike shop that would service the bike. Awesome. I am so glad I took it in because the back wheel bearing was going, four spokes needed to be replaced, my one pedal cleat was breaking so I had the pedals replaced and the brakes needed replacement. Now it feels like a new bike.
So I have clean, dry, sweet smelling laundry and a repaired bike. Rest days are good.

For supper I went to Trattoria Da Leo, great food.
Primi Piatti Tortelli al Ragu di Carne. A local speciality, delicious, Tortellini with Bolognaise sauce and lots of Parmesan
Secondi Piatti Furaona al ginepro e aceto balsamico. Guinea fowl with junipers and balsamic vinegar. Superb. Along with half a bottle of wine, coffee and Grappa.
Now that's a satisfying day.... aaaaah did I say that? Sorry Ms V!

I really enjoy Lucca. It has incredible atmosphere and is quite unique.

A big, big thank you to @Freshfmct - they are offering the chance to win a R1 000 Pick n Pay gift voucher AND 50,000 Smart Shopper Points worth R500! Awesome! Support Elred's trip for FTH:K by donating R20 or more. Enter via SMS or deposit directly into FTH:K's account (for direct deposits reference Elred and your name and contact number) and stand the chance to win! See sms and bank details here:


  1. I really enjoy reading your daily blog. Please continue to keep us posted on your progress. Good luck with the remaining stint and keep the wheels turning. Jacques