Peschiera del Garda - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2018

Peschiera del Garda

Rachael awakens today with her cold worsened and worrying.  This is probably not the ideal time for the longest stage of the tour so far, but at least the weather is fair and most of the day will continue south on the Via Claudia Augusta.  Rachael fortifies herself with a decongestant and gamely says that a bit of excercise is good for fighting off a cold.

We are free to get an early start, because we are on our own in an apartment stocked with breakfast supplies.  Unfortunately there are no matches to be found, so we can’t brew coffee because we can’t light the gas range; and the eggs Rachael was looking forward to scrambling remain uneaten too.  There’s an electric teapot though, and milk and muesli, and toast.  Good enough, but a bit of a letdown.  On the plus side, the laundry that we hung out to dry last night is nearly all dry.

We leave Trento a bit before nine, and after a few blocks of cobblestones come to the bikeway.  Trento, like Bolzano, is a very easy town to reach by bike.  It is a full sun morning, and cool but comfortable as we cross the Adige.  Within a few minutes though we are biking in the shadows of the high ridge on the east side of the river, and missing the warmth of the sun.  We’ll be stuck in the shade for about five miles before we break out into the sun again and the day finally warms up for us.

Leaving Trento, crossing the Adige. Another beautiful day!
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Wistfully looking across at the sunny side of the Adige
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After a chilly five miles we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Hooray!
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Back in the sun, we enjoy a relaxed ride downriver for the next twenty miles.  The route is a bit more complicated than yesterday’s as it regularly switches banks and includes a few short steep climbs away from the river up to a lateral canal.  Still though, it’s all pretty perfect.  The last hundred miles along the Adige are some of the most relaxed, enjoyable miles we’ve ridden anywhere.

Not long after the halfway point in the ride we come to a nice bench in the sun with a decent view and a convenient path back into a secluded spot in the woods, and agree that it’s time for lunch.  We’re really warming to these simple lunchtime picnics of the last few days.  Over lunch, Rachael considers her cold symptoms and concludes that she’s feeling better as the day goes on, which is of course terrific news.

And back again. We must have crossed the Adige a dozen times today.
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Part of the ride follows the bank of the river, but part of it is along this quiet canal that flows about fifty feet above it.
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We left the apple orchards behind a few miles behind, and are now deep into the vinyards. We’ve been steadily losing elevation of course, and are down around 500 feet now. We even start seeing an occasional olive grove.
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Just like in the cities, you want to remember to look up here. You never know what you’ll see perched up on a ridge.
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Kathleen ClassenThat is so true! Always look up 😀.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Kathleen ClassenYup. I should have credited you for this insight.
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2 months ago
Kathleen ClassenTo Scott AndersonHehe. No credit needed, it is just such a good policy. In Trieste Keith and I were blown away by the architecture of a building, looking up. Then I looked down and we realized we had walked by it before and not even noticed it because we were so busy looking in the windows at eye level.

We are loving Treviso. Even in the rain 😜.
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2 months ago
This one’s for sale! We consider changing our life plan, until Rachael reminds me that I don’t know thing one about farming, and we’re too far from the nearest cafe or bakery. Ever the practical one!
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So orderly and manicured this looks. In an odd way, this valley reminds me of Japan - the valley is completely filled, right up to the base of the cliffs. Use every arable square foot.
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Nice to have a decent view for lunch for a change.
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Not long beyond our lunch break we part ways with Claudia Augusta, as she bends east toward Verona and we cross over a gap in the western ridge to huge Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy.  Actually, we’ve been paralleling Lake Garda for the last twenty miles, separated by a high ridge capped by Mount Baldy.  We considered breaking this ride into two stages, crossing over to the north end of the lake today and biking south along it tomorrow, but it doesn’t look all that safe or pleasant yet.   There is an ongoing project to build a high quality bike path that completely encircles the lake, which will be amazing when done.  We should come back in a few years to check it out, and stop in at Bolzano and Trieste as long as we’re in the vicinity.

It’s not a high ridge, and not too steep; but high and steep enough for us.  We’re fifty miles into our ride at this point and have gotten badly spoiled in the last few days - what’s with these hills, and what are these cars doing on our road?  We could learn to love these bike paths.

On top though, we’re back on a bike route of sorts as we follow a series of tiny lanes through woods and meadows circling around the top of a knoll.  Much different country than we’ve been spending the last few days in.

We finally drag in to Peschiera del Garda, the southernmost town on the lake, at about four and head straight to our B&B.  We aren’t too excited about the town at first, to be honest - it’s essentially a beach resort now, and it’s hard to see beyond the ice cream cones to what is unique about this place.  We’ll get a better look in the morning, but for now we’re happy to relax around the room until dinner.

Why are we biking toward this cliff, Rachael would like to know.
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We’re really in different country here. We haven’t seen country like this for over a week.
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Map check in the middle of nowhere. Yup, still on route.
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We’re in the Valpolicella wine region, which excites me - Valpolicella is among my favorites. They’ve been making wine here since at least the time of the ancient Greeks.
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Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy
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Here’s to the first two thousand kilometers!
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Ride stats today: 64 miles, 1,900’

Today's ride: 64 miles (103 km)
Total: 1,244 miles (2,002 km)

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Keith ClassenYour route today to Lake Garda was similar to what we did last year except in reverse. We road up the bike path along the lake for much of it to Garda. We thought we might ride to the north end but the road north of Garda was just too busy so we too went over that ridge to get back on the Claudia Augusta. There is a good bike path connecting the Claudia Augusta to the north end of the lake to Arco which we took last year.

Hope Rachael gets over her cold quickly. Not fun at at any time. That was a long ride for someone not feeling well.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith ClassenRachael’s cold is much better today, thanks. I was sure she would be - she almost never gets sick, and recovers quickly. I knew about the path to Arco, and was tempted by it. It really sounds great, but it didn’t make sense to us to bike there and continue me back. Which is fine - it gives us a reason to return some year.
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2 months ago