Day 23 – Temu to Mezzana

I woke up hoping that the bike would somehow have mended itself, had the usual camping breakfast of a Huel shake and attempted to climb. I cycled round Ponte Di Legno before starting; it started ok, then half way up, I had to unscrew the brakes and mud guard, with five km to go it had got too dangerous. The roads were narrow, and huge trucks were speeding past me, with the bike shaking and out of control as I cycled I walked the final bit, dragging the broken bike with me, I didn’t reach Passo del Tonale till around 1 pm a mere four hours to cycle 12km. It had been exhausting. I considered hitch hiking to Trento to get it fixed, but I saw a mountain bike shop who said they could help and fix the problem, after 30 mins though they said the wheel was broken and unusable. At first, he said I could use a thin road bike, but I wanted the same tyres that I had been using, therefore no a small rim. He called a friend, and he had something similar to what I needed, he gave me the price and that was when the idea of cycling from London to Asia came to an end. As I said in my Instagram post, my feelings about it will be explained at the end, but I conceded defeat and accepted the charge.

As I was chatting to one of the bike staff, a woman, Sonia, ask where I am from and then says come and have lunch with her. Embracing everything on this trip, I agreed, dropped my stuff and was led into the hotel next door. She was the owner of the Grand Hotel Miramonti. She took me into the dining room, where there was food everywhere, it was heaven after nearly 55 hours with a substantial meal. I sat at the end surrounded by eight Italian girls, and some spoke perfect English, we chatted away over a four-course dinner, this was heaven.

I had never been to the Italian Alps before, but there was something theatrical about them, similar to Chamonix, a valley leaning with beautiful knife edge mountains.

We had coffee before we said goodbye, I stayed in the hotel to check on a few things with the Wifi. In the late afternoon, my bike was fixed, I went to a cash point and for the first time in 23 days touched money and made a transaction. The idea was over, but the story now had a two part twist. I was half through this trip, how would each part compare, better or worst. Only time will tell.

I cycled down the mountain as I was camping and enjoyed my new freedom with a bowl of Italian pasta, before hiking up a hill in Mezzana to set up for the night.