Thursday, January 15, 2009
DAY 56 GO ITALIA
Todays ride across Corsica was super.It was just more cliff-hugging cycling up and down through cork screw roads.The day closed with a tough cycle over the mountains and back down into Bastia. We're camped up (on a not so pretty beach) just a 20 minute ride to tomorrows ferry,which will take us out of Corsica,out of France and into country number 5,Italy.Theres no doubt about it.France has been great.I got so see so much,generally have good weather and have the wind at my back.I only wish I could have spoken a bit of french. The people were so good to me.I think its due to the bike. In France,football is the only sport bigger than cycling (or so I've been told by the locals) but they very often see cycling as a "sportif" rather than a mode of transport, and so the bike gets quite a bit of attention. I've been invited into peoples homes,given advice on better places to camp,directed towards empty houses to have for myself for a night and in all the time here,I haven't had any (even slightly) bad experience. When the snow was really bad down in the south east,I would be forced to ride a good bit out on the road, as the frozen slush and snow would be hard enough to knock you off a bike.It would be awkward for the vehicles following to overtake me as there was often more frozen slush/snow in the centre of the road,but no one blew me off the road or became in any way agitated at my presence on the road. That said,I would always try to keep in as close as possible to the kerbside and pull off the road altogether,if the vehicle behind was struggling to get by. The only people who ever honked their horns would then start waving out their windows and quite regularly shout something like "Go Italia",most likely due to the similarly of the Irish flag on the back of the bike to the Italian flag (less likely due to the similarly of my appearance to an Italian). Yes, France was great;-the people,the scenery,the wind at my back,but now its time for me to "Go Italia".