from Cumbria
to Umbria by bike

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  by Allan Nelson & Konrad Orlowski 


  Packing list

  The Bikes

  Packing bikes

  To the Airport

> Arriving at Pisa 

Once we'd landed at Pisa, we collected the bikes and panniers (unscathed) and phoned Sergio who was coming to collect us.  While waiting for him to arrive we unpacked the bikes outside the airport building.  We'd just finished when two total strangers came up and introduced themselves.  Sergio and Daniela.  We'd met at last.  The plan was that Konrad would travel in the car with Daniela (plus the 3kgs of tea), and Sergio and I would ride the bikes.

The car pulled away and Sergio and I set off after it.  I vaguely recognised some of the buildings and roundabouts as we made our way through the ever darkening streets.  It soon became apparent that red lights, one way streets and other distractions don't affect cyclists in Italy.  By the time we reached the house it was quite dark.  Sergio's daughter, Adele and their friends Antonio and Maria were there to meet us.

Sergio's house is beautiful, for several reasons.  The first one has to be it's location, with unrestricted views of his favourite ride 'Monte Serra'.  He told us he picked the plot for just this reason.  The second has to be the enormous (and that doesn't do it justice) garage/workshop in the basement. You could run a small engineering company from there! And another?  What else - he has his own pizza oven!

I'd read on the plane coming over that when you visit an Italian house you should take a gift of one of two things - tea or whisky.  Well we had 3kg's of the stuff!  After handing that over, we settled down to an excellent meal of home made 'Italian' pizza.  It was great to finally put faces to these names we'd come to know over the past months.