Roland Dürre
Monday February 23rd, 2009

RMD – My Travel Journal #22 – Carnival Sunday

Our Second Day: From Anzio to Gaeto

Nice weather, one thermometer we saw showed 17 degrees Celsius. For more than 105 kilometres, we ride through beautiful scenery, one place is more picturesque than the next. Luckily, there is even less traffic as we roll on. Making up for this, more and more cyclists can be seen, both alone and in groups. Sometimes we see 20 or 30 cyclists at a time, often uniformly dressed in loud colours and riding on racing bikes at a hellish speed. We give and receive a friendly “salve”. Later there are also some motorbikes. Off the roads, we see wreaths with pictures and crosses. The three small oranges we bought last night taste delicious as a second breakfast.

Then we continue rolling south along a flat road with only geographical variation in altitude. To the right is the sea, to the left lagoons, a small dam through the water. We see a nuclear power plant and ride along the fences of a huge military area.

In between, the road gets sandy. At the Ristorante Il Pirata on the Via Pontina Km 105 in Porto Badino, we eat an excellent lunch: seafood aperitifs, delicious spaghetti, and gnocci. The half-litre of local wine (a dream) and the final espresso taste like sin. Then we turn south again. Streets are wet, so it must have rained recently.

In Speronga the sun is shining. We indulge in another portion of ice-cream on this trip. Again, it tastes sensational. The ice-cream alone would be enough to make it worthy of a trip by bike through Italy. Now comes the last leg of the day, because we want to spend the night in Gaeto.
Suddenly dark clouds appear on the horizon. And then it rains. First just a little, then more and more, sometimes with little icicles mixed in. We can still see the brilliant sun shining et the edge of the clouds. The hotels along the road are all closed, so we have to keep a stiff upper lip and just go on for some uphill and downhill stretches interspersed with a few tunnels. And then it lies before us – Gaeto.

By now being quite wet, we ride down and ask a gentleman with a dog if he knows a hotel that is open. He does and describes the way to the nearby three-star “Flamingo”. Straight on until “ultimo” and then turn right. We find it without a problem. The GPS shows 106 kilometres. It never counted the way underneath the tunnels. We enter the hotel, shed our wet clothes, take a hot shower and welcome the evening, looking forward to a nice warm bed.

(translated by EG)

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