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Saturday 11th September 2004
Chioggia to Cavallino

We had been advised to catch an early ferry from Chioggia because being only a passenger ferry they were limited for space.   The notice at the terminal said "5 bikes maximum at the discretion of the captain".   We arrived just before 8.30 for the 8.45 sailing to Pellestrina and we were the first bike in the queue.   When the boat left it had 6 bikes and 1 tandem but not many people.   The journey cost €8.20 - €2 for the tandem (twice the bike fare) and €3.10 for each of us.   After 20mins we landed at Pelestrina and rode through the town which was highly decorated.   It appeared that the main celebrations would be taking place that evening – unfortunately too late for us to see.   We cycled the length of the island (8km) to catch the next ferry (a car ferry) to Alberoni.

While we were waiting for this ferry to arrive we talked to some Swiss cyclists who had cycled from their home 600km away and were now on the way back.   We boarded the ferry for the 10 min crossing and were asked for the fare.   €4.10 for one person plus bike and €3.10 for a second person.   It must have been too early in the morning to work that out in English because after a few seconds pause he said – “Forget about the second person - €4.10 please”.

The next island was slightly longer at about 12km.   We managed to find a Coop on the way to buy the remainder of our lunch.   I was tempted by the gateau but had to say no.   In Chioggia we had found a nice bread shop and fruit and veg. shop so we already had the main essentials.   I had thought that the next ferry was also a car ferry – this is what it indicated on the map.   When we got to the likely terminal we were told that we were in the wrong place and had to go back a kilometre to catch the passenger ferry.  We arrived just as the boat was undocking.   I thought the crewmember was urgently beckoning me to hurry up and push the bike over the increasing gap between land and boat.   Christine had other thoughts.   The gap was getting bigger rapidly and in the end I took the safe option.   The captain however re-docked the boat and we boarded in safety – very kind of him.   Back on dry land again at the other end we discovered that we should have bought tickets before boarding.   It was too late now – there was no one to check the tickets so our last crossing turned out to be free.

We cycled on, looking for somewhere shady to have our lunch.   At 1pm, though, we passed the entrance of the Union campsite at Cavallino where the coach was due to pick us up on the next day.   We decided to go and enquire as to whether there was anywhere to stay for the night.   Bolero happened to have a free tent so we are now encamped for the night.   It is a very nice site.   Lots of tents but very secluded with many trees lining the walkways and plenty of amenities in pristine condition.   The beach is also very nice – none of those regimented lines of beach huts that we have seen on many of the Italian beaches.   The shops on site are good and we are going to cook ourselves a meal for the first time in two weeks.   The only disadvantage is that we haven’t come prepared to sleep in a tent – bed linen can be provided but the price reflects a stay of at least one week.   We will sleep in our day clothes and hope that we keep warm enough.

Mileage today 22.75  Total mileage so far 415.5

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