Day 18 – Le Roisire to Meran

For been so high up, I was quite warm for the night. I was slow getting away because I was checking up on my bike and found the brake had been rubbing against the wheel as I was going up yesterday, no wonder it was so difficult! Getting to the Petit St Bernard pass was relatively straight forward, I stopped up just before to fill up my bottles with the mountain water and took my time once I was over it.

The place was fantastic, the Mont Blanc mountain range was on the left and down below was Italy, because I had fiddled with the brakes I only had one working so had to take it slow going down. Not that I was complaining, every corner showed something new something different, and it was a smooth down hill all the way into the Aosta Valley. I had planned to stop at Aosta but just before there was a picnic place with a great view of a Chateau with the mountains in the background so decided to stop, drink a shake and rest under the tree. The heat in the valley was intense compared with the cold mountain air.

As I got going again and made my way to my host for the night, Dario, I was stopped on the road by a man shouting me down. I stopped, thinking he was going to tell me cyclists are not allowed or something but it was my host Dario, we chatted for a bit introducing ourselves before he headed home and I was to follow although a couple of hours behind him.

As I pulled up to his village, it seemed like it was hidden behind a mountain, narrow roads with old style windows. I went through once but couldn’t see his house then I heard someone shouting at me. Dario helped me with my bike into his courtyard. They were doing an extension to the house, so I was in the new bit that was being renovated. I had a much-needed shower, and then we settle down to supper. I hadn’t had a proper meal since Albertville, so I was starving. His wife didn’t speak a word of English, so most of the conversation was with Dario. He could not have been nicer offering all sorts of foods and speaking in English. As I had ridden into Italy, I came to the realisation that I didn’t speak a word of Italian; I had spent the last two weeks trying to learn French now it was Italian.

After supper, we headed outside into the courtyard where he showed me some of the mountains of the area and told me of the rich history of Aosta. We chatted away before we both decided to call it a night. First night in Italy, let’s see what you have to offer.