So, I arrived in the Campania region of southern Italy this morning after a mammoth journey that started at 2am in blighty. As journeys go, it went pretty smoothly but the airport and air travel is still a pain with all of the checks and balances, the security and the monotony of sitting in a tin can like cattle.
However, the exit to the hire car went pretty quickly and I was soon on my way down the motorway, heading south to the mountains that I knew well and breathe some high altitude air that I yearn for whenever I’m away from it.
As I passed Mt Vesuvius and then onto Pompeii, I could feel my pulse starting to race in anticipation of getting back to a place I could call my second home…if only I visited there more often than I do. But, within a couple of hours I had arrived at the foothills base camp and was plotting my next few days on the trails and tracks to go up into the mountains.
Fate, it would appear does have a very twisted way of sticking the knife in though just to shatter best laid plans at the first hurdle. I had hoped that a local KTM dealer would have seen sense by now and offered rentals or even reasonably priced used bikes but unfortunately they did neither. In fact the prices were criminal and this within an area that wasn’t blessed with the most affluent within its ranks either.
But my plan B was about to come good too as I knew of a friend who had a bike that he wanted to sell and that would be the bike of choice for the remainder of the trip. However, I needed to catch up with the local info to see if the trails I had selected were even passable as many might have been affected by recent minor tremors which may have caused landslides…blocking the way ahead.
And so this is exactly what was to be the case for the day one riding schedule and possibly even day two too. Landslides had blocked the entrance to one trail and even further up the mountain, news had come from a local goat herder that there were more slides higher up too. This was going to be a frustrating trip but it was one that was calling out for improvisation too.
I had already filmed the series intro for the youtube channel, so I decided to take the opportunity to go for a trek on foot up another trail to a waterfall deep into the mountain and it turned out to be a fantastic afternoon walk too and hopefully the footage will be a great watch.
I even had time to film another ‘Good Man Eats’ episode too, so all in all it was a very productive day…this on top of have to get my other business done at the same time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when the stars align and the timing is just right. OK, although it wasn’t yet the biking adventure that I had planned, it was still a fantastic place to be and the mountain air was inspiring me onto higher plains too.
Tomorrow, I have a few other routes to explore but until the bike comes through, it’ll have to be in the car. I have already been warned that the car may not make it up the mountain trail for tomorrow, but you never know unless you try. So that’s the plan for tomorrow…to go trek up the mountain and see how far I get. Do more filming of the channel and get a few more chores done whilst I’m at it too.
I always remind myself that my biker’s spirit can take me to amazing places whether on foot, on four wheels or by motorcycle. Whatever the mode of transport tomorrow, I shall be getting drunk on this mountain air and see what other challenges I can set for myself too.
Onwards…hopefully on two wheels.