Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turkey Trip Countdown

Well, the packing's going okay, and we might have a working itinerary. Most of the shopping is done and the cats' food is prepared and labelled.

Apart from a few bits and pieces, this is largely all we're taking. This is all our clothes and my trusty sheepskin. Clothes I'm taking are:

3 x wicking, quick-dry tee shirts for under the bike jacket
2 x quick-drying shirts for evenings out
2 x quick-drying trousers (one of which converts into shorts)
2 x quick-drying shorts
3 x wicking, quick-drying wash and wear knickers
2 x wicking, quick-drying wash and wear bras
3 x wicking, quick-drying wash and wear socks
1 x wicking, quick-drying camisole
Swimming costume (you never know...)
Microfibre dressing gown
Pashmina (good for if I have to cover my head up ;-)    )
Lightweight fleece
Vibram FiveFingers Sprints
Flip flops
Toiletries all in little bottles

This lot's so lightweight, it takes up hardly any space at all. I'm pleased with how that's all gone in! The rest will go in the top box and hopefully the bike won't be too overloaded!

With the help of Bing Maps (Google Maps couldn't calculate any of the trips, so thanks for that Google, came up trumps again on the navigation front...), a 1:400,000 scale map and just arrived Lonely Planet guidebook, we have an embryonic tour cobbled together. Our constraints are the amount of time we need to get to and from Turkey and we can't really be back later than the 15 August because of leaving the cats for too long. So here is a preliminary list of intended destinations, taking in the trip down and back:

Modena - Slavonski Brod (Croatia) - Plovdiv (Bulgaria) - Çanakkale (Over the Dardanelles by ferry - base to visit Troy) - Selçuk (for Ephesus) - Eğirdir - Konya - Ürgüp (Cappadocia) - Ankara - Mudurnu (to visit Lake Abant) - İstanbul - Edirne - Niš (Serbia) - Zagreb - Modena

This trip has changed many times over the last 24 hours, so watch this space!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Desenzano Lago del Garda

So, here we are, back again after a bit of a break. What with the horrible weather we had in June and then trying to sort the garden out, we've had little time for bike trips!

Fortunately, penned into the diary for a while has been our annual trip up to Desenzano in Lake Garda to catch up with some dear friends of ours who take their holiday there. We tried to set out early on account of the incredible heat but with Google Maps and Italian road signs coming up trumps again, we managed to arrive a bit late, having arrived via the pretty route! The trip up is actually really lovely if you stay away from the motorway. It's one of my favourite trips. Also debuting on this trip was my lovely sheepskin seat cover that I've mentioned before. I have to say that it did make a difference to my rear-end comfort. It was really comfortable in spite of the 40 degree heat.
It was really good to see our friends again and catch up with the gossip from back home. After a cool drink in the shade and a chin wag, we headed off for lunch. We returned to Al Fattore, the restaurant we'd eaten at last year. We passed on dessert and went off for a delicious ice cream.
After a little look around the town, we returned to the hotel for another cold drink in the shade and more chat. We left a little later than we intended so returned on the motorway.
I love these yearly get-togethers!