A lot has changed since our plane landed in Scotland six months ago (in April- what were we thinking?!) We've packed more exciting events into these 184 days than either of us can believe. With each passing day we learn more about ourselves and what we need to be happy, not just on the road, but as people. We now have a realistic idea of what cycle touring is like, and how our trip will progress in the future (in stark contrast with the adventure we'd imagined). Things are going well.
I wrote an entry entitled "A Day in the Life" about two months into our trip. Our daily routine these days looks nothing like it used to! Here is a look at our (current) ideal day:
06:00 AM: Alarm goes off.
07:00 AM: We actually get moving.
08:00 AM: We're a few kilometers down the road.
08:30 AM: We've stopped somewhere to have/make breakfast.
09:30 AM: Back on the road again, looking to cover 50-80 kilometers for the day.
11:30 AM: Stopped at a coffee shop / bar / wherever to journal, work, do research, relax, etc.
01:30 PM: Back on the road.
02:30 PM: Stopped somewhere to have/make lunch.
04:30 PM: Start looking for a free-camp and/or place to make dinner.
06:30 PM: Dinner has been made/eaten/cleaned up.
07:00 PM: We're setting up a camp (for free) somewhere well hidden as the sun sets.
08:00 PM: Reading, watching the Sopranos, working, relaxing, bike maintenance etc.
11:30 PM: We go to bed.
Though we have heavier bikes and spend less time on the road than we used to, we are regularly covering more kilometers than we ever thought possible. Today was our first official 100km ride! We left an idyllic free-camp by the ocean early in the morning with the hope of making it to Rome. We agreed to stop and free-camp if the distance was too much but it turned out we were both on rails to get there.
The scenery for our ride was plain (no photo-taking stops), the terrain was friendly, and our bodies were more than capable. Early in the day we stopped for coffee and worked on a major new addition to our site (coming in a week or so). After that we covered the bulk of the distance by drafting each other at 20kph+ for several hours, stopping only for a quick lunch break around 3:00.
The final leg through Rome's rush-hour traffic was a typical big city mess. I love weaving through slow moving, congested traffic. Tara is a little less enthusiastic than I am but nevertheless, she courageously wove along with me, cursing at cars and scooters, until she got the hang of it. The last 15km took nearly two hours but we arrived safely around 6:00pm at Seven Hills Campground with 99km listed on our GPS! I rode a few laps around the campground just to see it turn over 100 :)
We're settled in for the next several days on our very own Roman holiday, to explore the city and rest up for our next leg to the Amalfi Coast!