Day 20 – Tridate to Lake Como

I was away early, and it was an easy ride into Como, although quite busy on the traffic front. The town was beautiful, old narrow colourful streets with cobbled paving. I was expecting to come over a hill to see the lake, but it was hidden away, and so I went in search of it. The warm blue sky probably exaggerated the colour of the water but the steep mountains around certainly added to the dramatic effect. There was only one word to describe this place, and that is ‘Wow’. So because a heat wave was due and cycling outside all day, the thought of cycling in the sun filled me with dread. I cycled 20 km to a hotel where I went in and asked if I could use their Wifi, they very kindly accepted and so I went outside under a tree with a table. It was the end of breakfast, and there was one remaining customer, so I chatted with her about the hotel, most people there were for a wedding and had come out from the USA.

After she had left the waiters asked me to move, so I headed into the lobby to keep cool, the afternoon flew by without much incident. Then came the moment to head into the heat and on to my host, Ricardo. I knew I had a hill to climb which I wasn’t looking forward to climbing. It starts ok and gradually got worse and worse. One village before his I was searching for a water fountain to dunk my head into I was sweating so much. When I reached the top of the mountain, I pulled into a house where women greeted me with a blank stare. I soon realised I had the wrong house, it had taken hours to climb this hill, and it was getting so steep that I couldn’t even pull it up the drive, I mean it was almost vertical, I couldn’t even believe a car could get up it. I call Ricardo, and he drove down to pick me up. We drove up the 200m vertical drive to his farmhouse. Ricardo runs a BnB in the summer while herding sheep. There was also a lovely Belguim family staying there too, whose kids were obsessed with the dogs

We were introduced to one another before I settled for a wonder and a shower. I loved the rustic feel to the whole place. The shower room so small you had to duck to get in, it was full of all these strange wonders and was a joy to be there. Ricardo made me a buckwheat pasta with potatoes and cheese, and after a few days without whole food, it was incredible, the food vanished in seconds, so he came out with the pan and poured the entire lot onto my plate.

At the end of supper, while my tea was cooling, the Belguim family and I took a walk up to the top to see the view down the valley to Lake Como. It was quite the spot, and even after they all went to bed, Ricardo, Raphael and I had a few drinks, looking down at the valley and chatted away. They both had to be up early to sheep herd, so we called it a night, they asked if I wanted to join and of course, I said yes.