Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Oristano. Very pretty, but we don't spend much time here.

    We're feeling a little bit tired. I think we're going to call it a day and stop somewhere around here. Yes, I know. We've only gone about 120 kms today and we're already done. Ride for a couple of hours, rest for a couple of days. This travel fatigue is kind of getting out of hand...

    So we tried to book a place in Oristano for the evening, but we can't find the same deal we got in Alghero. Too expensive. Instead, we ride about 20 minutes outside of town to stay on a farm just outside the town of Marrubiu.

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    The couple that owns the farm has a couple of guest suites on site that they rent out to tourists

    Surrounded by all this nature, it turned out to be a much more picturesque place to stay than in the city. We just had to ride a bit into the neighbouring town to grab some groceries, since there was absolutely nothing around us.

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    Preparing to leave the next morning... is it my imagination or is it getting warmer?

    Sardinia is not that big, only slightly larger than Corsica at 260 kms lengthwise. So I'm not sure if this warmer weather is the result of us moving further south in latitude or just the daily temperature fluctuations. But we don't complain, as we ride out of the farm into the brilliant, sunny day without any sweater or any base layers on underneath our mesh motorcycle jackets. I can't remember the last time it was this warm!

    Not a cloud in the sky and there's mid-20s on the forecast for today. Nice!
  2. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Today we are going to try to hug the western coast as much as possible, all the way until the edge of the land curves from south to east

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    Somewhere near the southern shores, we spy this fantastic beach from the road

    I'm not really sure where we are, we're just exploring all the little roads that follow the shoreline. Later on I try to retrace our route on the map. I believe this is Capo Pecora.

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    We want to get as close to the water as possible. Trying to find a way down to the beach
  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Current windchill in Edmonton: -36ºc. Forecast for tonight: -46ºc. So I open the report and the first entry has a palm tree centered in the photo. Face it. You're a pair of good for nothing bastards! That's all I have to say. :D
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  4. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Good a place to park as any

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    Grabbing our swimsuits and towels and heading towards the inviting, crystal blue waters

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    Neda is scouting around for a place to lay our towels down
  5. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Kicking off our boots and soaking up some much-needed sun and warmth

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    Thinking about staying here forever

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    Swimming around all the little pools inside the rocky shoreline. Despite the warm weather, the water is FREEZING COLD!
  6. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Moto-freedom

    I think this epitomizes what we love most about riding motorcycles around the world. Just wandering around with everything you need and own on the back of your bike. No schedule... if you see something interesting, just pull over and take all the time you want to explore without rushing to meet some kind of deadline. It culd be a monument or a vibrant, major metropolitan city. Or it could just be a pretty, deserted beach out in the middle of nowhere.

    The world truly feels like our oyster.

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    Continuing our shoreline trek, lots of empty sandy beaches around but no tourists

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  7. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    The road winds high above the cliffs of the southern shores and we get some breathtaking views over the barrier

    Here's a video recap of the roads around Corsica & Sardinia. Enjoy!

  8. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    We arrive at the southern end of Sardinia, near the port town of Cagliari.

    Exhausted.

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    Relaxing in Quartucci, at the very end of Sardinia

    We've booked a couple of nights at a really nice guest house in the suburb of Quartucci, cheaper than staying right downtown near the ferry. Which means it's decision-time, once again.

    We never really resolved our "discussion" in Marseille. I wanted to go to Tunisia. Neda wanted to drop the bikes off in Croatia and fly to Thailand.

    I admit that the Corsica -> Sardinia side-trip was a trick to get Neda to eventually come around to crossing over to Northern Africa. I told her, "Let's just traverse the islands, it'll be sunny and lazy and we can take our time. We'll ride down the western side of the islands, and when we get to the tip of Sardinia, if you don't want to go to Tunisia, we'll just come back up the eastern side of the islands and go straight to Pula."

    Come on, I can't be the only guy to ever beg a girl: "Just the tip"...

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    Hey, there's a Pula in Sardinia! Who knew...

    Well, here we are at the tip. And I'm friggin' exhausted. I can't continue riding into Tunisia, let alone back up Sardinia and Corsica again. I just want to catch a ferry straight to Croatia right now, dump the bikes and lie on a beach forever in Thailand.

    Neda smirks knowingly. She knew I'd run out of energy. My little "Just the tip" scheme backfired spectacularly.

    Europe is done.
  9. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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  10. motocopter

    motocopter Searching...

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    Nice! Classic, too! :lol3


  11. RicH2

    RicH2 Ric H2

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    Thanks for the response !!!
  12. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/375.html

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    We're too tired to even ride back up through the mountains on the east coasts of Sardinia and Corsica. Now that we've decided to leave Europe, we find ourselves in a great rush to get the heck outta here.

    Since we've both agreed not to venture any further south, the ferry at Cagliari is useless to us. The only boat back to mainland Europe leaves from Olbia, 275 kms away on the northeastern corner of Sardinia. We don't even think about it. The next morning we jump directly on the highway and within hours we're checking in at the ferry that will take us away from the islands.

    It took us four whole days to wander down Sardinia and now that we're on a mission... three hours to come back up!

    No pictures of the boring highway ride back.

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    But here's one of the ferry back to mainland Italy

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    Ten hours later, we're spit out onto the shores of Genoa.

    From here, we're planning on heading east back to Croatia to dump the bikes and fly to Thailand.
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  13. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Neda had a thought. Since we're going to be passing through Cinque Terre on the way to Pula, why not drop in and see the famous Italian Riviera? It's on the way...

    Sure. Why not?

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    Beautiful southern shores of Italy

    As the name Cinque Terre suggests, this part of the Italian Riviera is comprised of five towns. Although the towns are all within 20 kms of each other, it's still too much to see in a single day, so we're going to set up a base at a campsite on the west end, in a town called Sestri Levante.

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    Riding out to our campsite. This whole area reminds us of the Amalfi Coast, further south on the boot of Italy.

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    Our HQ for the next couple of days

    We had actually wanted to visit Cinque Terre when we first landed in Europe back in 2014, but when we got close, Northern Italy experienced severe flooding, so we skipped the Italian Riviera. This part of Italy frequently gets flooded. The worst one was back in 2011, nine people were killed and there was extensive damage to several of the villages.
  14. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Heavy rains in the spring of this year led to extensive landslides which closed down several hiking trails and roads. Several months later, the roads still haven't reopened. This means that we have to take the main highway all the way east to La Spezia and then double back to visit the villages of Cinque Terre.

    This is unfortunate. There's a system of narrow, twisty roads that connect all the villages, and it runs along the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea! :(

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    Routing through the city of La Spezia

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    La Spezia is pretty, but it's not one of the old villages of Cinque Terre
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  15. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    We make it to our first Cinque Terre town: Monterosso al Mare

    Wonderful pastel-colored buildings line the pedestrian streets. It's definitely off-season, but there are still a lot of tourists enjoying the Riviera's warm, late-fall weather.

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    I found out that the buildings were only painted these pastel colours in the 1970s

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  16. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    The medieval buildings here remind me of when we visited the mock-Italian villa of Portmeirion in Wales

    Now *this* is what the real Italian Riviera looks like!

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    We continue strolling west past the town's centre to the beach on the other side.

    Of the five villages of Cinque Terre, Monterosso is the only one that has a sandy beach.

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    There's a huge rock just off the coast that everybody climbs

    However, they warn people not to get stuck on the rock when the tide comes in. Or you'll get stranded and have to swim back to shore!

    It's not that far a swim...
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  17. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Monterosso al Mare's sandy beach. It must be packed in the summertime!

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    Looking over the colorful beach blankets the vendors have laid out on the sand

    It's so pretty and scenic here. Not too many people and the weather is warm and sunny. But still... it seems like we're just not enjoying it fully.

    Like we're just putting one foot in front of the other.

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    Aurora Tower - they say that this is the marker that separates the old town (where we were earlier) with the newer part (the beach)
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  18. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Back to HQ

    It looks like we're only managing to see one town a day. At this rate, we'll be here all week. Not sure I can handle that...

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    The next day, we visit the second of five towns: Riomaggiore

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    The single pedestrian road through town leads to a dead end at the waterfront
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  19. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    The classic Cinque Terre shot

    Riomaggiore is the perfect example of the Cinque Terre cascading buildings perched on the cliff, crowding each other to the very edge of the water like lemmings driving each other over the edge.

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    Rowmaggiore

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    The rocks in the small harbour in Riomaggiore are a popular place for photo shoots
  20. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    All these boats are for tourists. The only real fishing village out of the five towns is/was Monterosso

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    The entire village rests on these rocks, you can walk around the base underneath

    Well, that's two villages down. Three more to go!

    We head back to our campsite and the skies darken considerably. Uh oh. Looks like rain!

    And rain it did. All night and into the morning. Neda's waterproofing spray job failed to plug the leak in our roof and we were once again swimming inside our tent in the darkness.

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    Drying everything

    In the morning, we shook the water out of our shelter. I think the tent is done. And so are we. We're tired and miserable and we just found out the place we called home for the last half decade will have to be binned. :(

    I don't know why we keep shuffling our feet on our way out of Europe.

    Well actually, I do know why. And it's the same reason why we travel so slowly.

    We have a bad case of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Everywhere we go, we feel like we may never come back again, so we want to see and do everything. Which means not only do we end up staying a long time in each place, we completely fatigue ourselves out in the process.

    We should have just skipped Cinque Terre, but once again... FOMO strikes again.

    Two out of Five is good enough. We're outta here.