Friday, 29 April 2011

Bella Italia

Our last night in France, spent in the mountains in Montgenevre, was positively arctic but the MBB's little diesel heater did us proud. In the morning we discovered an icicle where our breath had condensed and dripped out of the window in the night.

Fortunately for Will, there was no time to hang around in the mountains lamenting my lack of snowboarding gear - we had to push on to Italy. I won't wax lyrical about the spectacular scenery, but it was breathtaking, especially as we were blessed with yet another day of sunshine. Hopefully the pictures will give you some idea.

Out of the mountains, we decided to continue with our policy of avoiding toll roads, due to our tight budget and the assumption that they would be prohibitively expensive. This approach took us through some rather unattractive backwaters on godawful scarred and pitted roads but did afford us a glimpse of an Italy that doesn't feature in the guide books. On the country road we were travelling on I noticed a scantily clad girl standing in a layby and assumed she was waiting for a bus. My only thought was 'great, it must be really warm out for her to be wearing so little - maybe I'll put my shorts on later'. About a mile further on, another layby, and another girl, also wearing few clothes. The scene was repeated at every layby for the next 20 or so km, and every one of the girls was black. It was broad daylight on a busy minor road, which suggested a large scale operation with police pay off.

After a couple of hours on these meandering and pot-hole ridden roads, and still only halfway to our destination, we decided that enough was enough. Surely the toll road to Genoa would not cost us more than 30 euros, and with Frankie complaining loudly and our nerves jangling, at that precise moment I would have been willing to pay double that. Aah, the smooth tarmac was a joy, apart from the fact that the road had been made in sections and at regular intervals felt like driving over a ditch. Worries about the box resurfaced but we made it to our destination - Rapallo - intact and in less than an hour. And the toll? 8 euros.

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