Monday, 11 July 2016

Italia and into France

We stayed in Palermo two days and did a lot of walking exploring the old town, there are some amazing bits of Architecture and history but I’m afraid its a bit dirty and down at heel, the heat makes some of the city’s less appealing smells more pungent. From a tourist and outsiders point of view there needs to be some education or cash put into the rubbish and graffiti problem but i suppose if you’re constantly paying the mob its difficult.
We left our digs for the ferry at 6pm with a hint of trepidation having watched the trffic insanity for two days, the ferry terminal less than a mile away, to say we got the run around was an understatement, i was beginning to think we were back in the Central American republics, when we eventually got to the ticket office to collect our boarding cards, the very fat, rude surly guy was as helpful as a dose of diarrhoea when there’s no toilet and your wearing a white suit! He started shouting at me then calmed down when I gave him a round of the guns with my best Italian abuse and actions. The Ferry queueing seemed and was chaotic but at the end of the day we were boarded with no drama and left the guys to tie the bikes down, we met some fellow UK travellers so that was good to realise Mr Fat smelly guy was universally rude.
The Ferry was huge, clean and much better than the crap we have to put up with going to Europe, it was good to find out we arrived in Genoa at 5pm and not the 9pm i thought it was. Genoa at 5pm is a stressful place to ride a motorcycle, not good at all. We arrived in Calice Liguria around 6.30 and called our host for the next two days Steva who we met at the Elefant Rally and runs a bikers B&B. He met us in the square and warned us the road to his place was a bit steep and had gravel, no kidding batman, I’ve ridden easier trials sections, but the V11 and Kawa made it with only a couple of dabs ! Martin and Sue form the UK (also Guzzi folk) were already there so we spent the next two days partying including a night in Finale Liguria watching Steva’s band and getting seriously pissed!
Saturday Martin a Sue left early to get a tyre fitted and we had a tour of the old town with Steva. When I returned to my bike there was a load of oil under it, It seemed to be coming from the breather but  couldn’t see properly, we pushed on for about 50 miles and pulled into a service station to check, it was pissing oil everywhere, further checks revealed the main engine breather had split. I took the tank off but didn’t have a long enough screwdriver to get the clamp off. An Austrian guy in a car offered tools and encouragement but had to go, meanwhile two Bulgarian truck drivers on their stop came over and got stuck in, I couldn’t get near the bike and half an hour later we had nipped the bad bit off the perished hose and got it together again. Bizarrely a Chinese guy who spoke no Italian or English appeared having ridden his GS12 from China with his young son on the back.     

We set off to my old village I lived in when i was a bambino, stayed with my cousin Bruno in his B&B for a couple of days eating, catching up with the locals, drinking and chilling. We did get a bite freaked out I admit when we encountered the snorting wild Boar on the way walking to Bruno's house with only the phone to see the way, no harm done , I think it was more scared than we were!  Today we set off and rode the route Napoleon which is outstanding normally but for now there’s mega roadworks so after a long day we quit just an hour short of Grenoble, Every time i stop i’m nervously checking the breather as it’s a very temporary repair. The plan is to make progress every day and hope it hangs out
Where are we?
Rubbish everywhere
A wedding car, seems to be the fashion
Nice though
More stuff
One of the gates into the old city
waiting for a ferry
Lets take a selfie
Steva's drive, not for the faint hearted
Old Guzzi's in the garden
Not so old Guzzi's in the garden
Steva and one of the other visitors on Friday night
Good food, good crack
Hear no evil, see no evil , speak no evil
King of the castle
Getting messy
I liked this shot
Steva in full flight
And the girls in full dance
My Bulgarian helpers
The view from Bruno's house, not too shabby
Guzzi looking into the village