Friday 3rd September 2004
Suzzara to Ostíglia
After a visit to the supermarket we retraced our steps to the art museum at Luzzara and reached there at 9.30 – still 30 minutes to opening time. At 10 we went to try the door but it was locked. Someone spotted us however, and came to the door explaining that the museum was closed until the end of September as a new exhibition was being set up. What a disappointment! So we returned to Suzzara and continued on northwards to join the banks of the Po near Monteggíana. Somehow we missed this village, but we found a bar in the adjacent village of Villa Saviola which served us coffee for 11’s. There was not a cloud in the sky and it was already very hot. After coffee we followed the embankment round to San Benedetto Po where we had lunch soon after 12. We certainly eat up the miles in this terrain averaging about 12.5mph and quite often sailing along at 15mph. By 1pm it was too hot to think about any more cycling for the afternoon.
There was a museum in the town which according to the notice outside said that it opened at 2pm so we had another coffee and the café owner kindly filled our water bottles with lovely iced water. We then had a potter around the church and cloisters before entering the buildings at 2. The entrance to the museum was up a flight of steps and it was here we found another notice saying it opened at 2.30. More pottering. At 2.30 plus a further short wait someone came to open up – did we have tickets? You can buy the tickets on the other side of the square (400m away). Off we trundle to the refectory, buy tickets, visit another small museum here and then make our way back to the first museum. The museum was divided into three sections showing different aspects of rural life; agriculture, art / paintings and puppets. It was well worth the €3.50 each and we really enjoyed the section on puppets.
It was now 4pm and time to cycle on to the town of Révere to try and find accommodation for the night. Révere lies on the south bank of the Po and a big iron bridge connects it to the town of Ostíglia which is on the other bank to the north. There didn’t appear to be anywhere to stay in Révere and this was confirmed when we asked for help. We were told we would stand a better chance in Ostíglia. We crossed the river on the bridge which turned out to be a shared road and railway with a narrow pedestrian walkway along one side. Fortunately no one was coming the other way. The first hotel, the “Cioe”, was closed for September – but the door was open and the manageress was very helpful saying that if we wanted a room for the night (without breakfast) we could stay for €50. We had a look round for other alternatives but returned (with our breakfast bought at Lidl) as the only other hotel looked rather expensive. After taking a shower we went out to find an evening meal and ended up with a take-away pizza plus cake and coffee. This was followed by a quick walk up to the embankment of the Po just after sunset – and an even quicker walk back as the mosquitoes near the river were out in force.
The temperature at 8.30pm tonight was still 27°C- thank goodness for the air conditioning in the hotel.
Mileage today 41.6 Total mileage so far 174.9.