Monday 6th September 2004
Ponté Gradella to Pomposa
The day started well. There was light cloud and a beautiful sunrise. We were treated to the best breakfast of the trip so far. There was a choice of fruit juice, yoghurts, different bread, two types of cake and a bowl of fruit. We ate outside in the garden at 7.30. The earlier start was an attempt to do most of the ride before the sun got too hot. We left at 8.30 and followed a minor road to Tresigallo – 25km away. Here we stopped at a bar for coffees and to buy food. We didn’t find a fruit and veg shop but managed to buy bread and a lovely slice of plum cake. We were almost half way into the ride and it was only 10 o’clock. We set off again and managed to get to Codigoro by just after 11.30 where we found a coop supermarket and where we bought the remainder of our lunch. 50 km completed and only 5km now to Pomposa which had a B&B advertised in our brochure.
Just round the corner from the Coop was a park with benches – we had to eat something as we had bought so much that it wouldn’t all go into the saddlebags! We even had enough for a meal in the evening in case we got stuck again. Lunch was followed by siesta time.
After lunch we went into the town for a look round before making our way to the Abbey at Pomposa. We found the abbey but where is the village of Pomposa and where is the B&B? After looking round the abbey we enquired from the lady at reception – she wasn’t too sure but gave us some directions. The route used the very busy Via Romea (the main road from Venice to the south) for 500m before turning off down a side road. We didn’t like the look of that and opted for another side road directly behind the abbey which seemed to end up at the same place. Just down the road we spotted someone else to ask – but in trying to negotiate a U turn in the lane we (I) didn’t quite manage to stay on the tarmac and the front wheel ended on the grass verge. At first no problem – but then the ground softened and we came to an abrupt halt and fell off. Fortunately other than grazes there was no damage. To save our embarrassment our misfortune hadn’t been noticed and we found that this person knew the B&B lady well and directed us straight down the road we were already on. We were also given the number of her mobile in case she was out. Off we set looking for house number 34.
2km later we reached a T junction and had only spotted houses with numbers up to 10. We thought we had better ask again. We did even consider the mobile, but the thought of talking in Italian on the phone and understanding what was said put Christine off straight away (I didn’t even consider it!). A man in a field was questioned but either he didn’t understand or he’d left his glasses at home and couldn’t read the address on the paper – so we were no better off.
I had remembered seeing some houses to the right of the road as we had cycled along but I had not spotted an access road to them. We decided to do a right turn and then take another road to the right going back the way we had come but using the road which ended up on the Via Romea. The houses I had spotted earlier were now again to the right and not on this road either. How does one get to them? There was no road marked on our map. Soon a side road appeared – no name to the road – and at last we found some houses with high numbers. We arrived at number 34 and asked if they did B&B – yes they did. The 5km extra had turned into 16 by the time we dismounted.
Again we were made very welcome. We were provided with water, cake and fruit and the price was €40 – the cheapest yet. Later on we were provided with wine and were told by the husband (who is a seismologist and speaks good English) that we can have sandwiches for lunch if we like. He has worked in Scotland at Aberdeen
Mileage today 40.0 Total mileage so far 276.4