After the minor disaster that was the south coast of France, we were keen to move on and turn a new leaf, so we headed into Italia! We knew the Dolies was the next big destination, but the 7 plus hours driving were a little off putting, so we decided on a slight detour to Lake Como, I did not know much about the place apart from it was a lake in Italy, so this was a bit of a shot in the dark, but it seemed to be midway between us and our final destination and so it was decided.
We took the toll roads for a change, as the non toll road journey time was double the toll and longer, so our journey was quite boring. It took a while but we were soon in the town of Como and we were heading down the lake side roads that seemed to pass through small villages that were packed to the rafters with pissed up folk! Loads of youngsters all at bars etc, stumbling drunk through the streets?? Although this was Saturday night, I was not really expecting this. I thought if anything it would be a bunch of old people stopping off at the lake on a coach trip, eating expensive food and talking about the weather. It seemed we had landed upon a ye olde lakeside Ibiza!
We arrived at our first location, a carpark…safe to say, even though I had been driving for five hours we decided to move on to another, potentially better location an hour away. Once we arrived the sat nav again tried to take us through a low tunnel, however this time I was wiser and decided not to smash the van and drive around. This immediately seemed like a nicer location, loads of motor homes were parked up and the only downside seemed to be we were parked next to a discotheque which was banging out the tunes at full volume.
Even with this noise we were soon asleep and looking forward to a day off. As morning broke I had a look outside and it seemed we had hit the jackpot, the lake was in front of us surrounded on all sides by mountains. After a lazy morning we took a look around and found the bar (the source of the music) and next to it a small beach which we had a walk across and tested out the water temperature, which was bloody freezing! Add to this the snake that was slithering along through the water and I could not wait to get in and have a swim. This location was spot on, and after a small lunch we hit the beach and eventually creeped into the freezing cold water! We had a lovely swim and followed this with a short sunbathing session.
Now this is what I thought our time off from climbing in the Med would be like, so I was glad we were finally having a relaxing time. Throughout the afternoon and evening the bar was having a live ‘punk rock’ theme, and it’s safe to say the music was shit, Italian punk rock was not music to my ears, luckily at some point the screaming ended and we decided to go to the bar for our first drink out of the trip. Yeah, that’s right, three months in and we’ve gone to our first bar for a drink! We also used this opportunity to celebrate this landmark by sitting in relative silence whilst taking advantage of the free wifi, and catching up with what the rest of the world had been up to.
The next day was unfortunately overcast, so I never managed to get a second days swimming, but we did some admin and readied the van for another long drive before setting out for the Dolomites. I can’t wait to get some climbing done, some of the rock and routes look so amazing! Hopefully the next post will have a great story of adventure as the last few have been a little tame!