A sad day this.
This was to be the last day's cycling. Wed allowed ourselves a day at the end at best to do some sightseeing around Pisa and at worst to allow us a day in case of disasters in the home straight.
We had breakfast in the main square at Colle di Val dElsa, bought something for the journey, and set off for the first leg to San Gimignano. We both took it easy after yesterdays epic. Funny that. Yesterday was only 80kms, yet we were both pretty stuffed after it and we only had half the luggage. I dont think either of us could understand why. Felt quite fresh when we got to San Gimignano today, even though this time we had the full luggage set.
San Gimignano wasnt quite as busy as yesterday, but we were earlier. Seemed wed beat the coaches to it. The girl at Munditravel had done the business, and managed to book us a double room at the Hotel Bologna, so with the address and our reservation slip, we set off for Pisa on the Villamagna road. There was some climbing, but it wasnt too bad, then a brilliant descent to Villamagna. We stopped part way down for a drink and eats. Carried on west from Villamagna for 4-5km until we hit the No 439 signposted Pontederra.
This road runs parallel with the River Era for some way, and was incredibly flat compared to what wed been used to. I kept expecting a hill around the next corner, but the road meandered around them, rather than going over them. It was a pretty non-descript journey (making good time 30kph+) until we neared Ponsacco where the road got busier. The route through the town was interesting.
From Ponsacco, we headed for Cascina, and then a very boring ride from Cascina to Pisa built up area, hot (27° C), dusty, busy etc. This last stretch seemed to drag on and on, and for the first time on the whole trip, we found ourselves getting out of the saddle, not to climb, but to releive the aching bum. Eventually, we reached historic Pisa, and decided to stop at a gelateria for an ice-cream, a drink and to ask directions to the hotel. We couldnt believe it when the owner told us the hotel was two streets away. Lucky or what!
We arrived at the Hotel Bologna at 4pm. Cost for a double room was L100,000. We were paying L110,000 (evidently Munditravels 10%).
We had a walk out to the leaning tower tonight. Couldnt get over how few tourists there were there. I got a picture of it with no-one else in shot! Had a meal in a restaurant in Via S Maria, then back to the hotel bar. They didnt have any wine!, so we nipped out to a grocers and brought a bottle back (they did have a corkscrew and two glasses!).