Wind, snow, rain….
We could be at home, couldn’t we?
We said cheerio this morning to Marianne, after being warned about black ice by the local plumber. He looked like he had been at work for about 10 hours, judging by the state of him. Maybe he doesn’t shower. Maybe he HAD been at work for 10 hours.
Glad of the advice, we headed off towards Zurich for a coffee date with the lovely Carina in Zumikon. We found her beautiful home very easily, thanks to Ed & Fanny’s teamwork. It was great to have a blether and catch up, lovely coffee, of course!
From there, we had no choice but to head towards the Gotthard Tunnel. Most of the mountain passes are closed already. As we left Carina’s, I had put my heated trousers on. I was glad of them later, when we had some slight temperature fluctuations.
It wasn’t too long before we went through a village that had had a recent snow fall. Weirdly, it was 10°. The low today was about 5°. The temperature was all over the place. There were foggy patches, areas of sun, drizzle, all with temperatures going up and down like a whore’s knickers. Getting my operating temperature correct was challenging!
When we got into the tunnel, I had, sensibly switched off my heated gear. Just as well, it got up to 30° in there. I now (sort of) understand why there’s a section of the Highway Code that tells you to ‘tune into local radio station before entering tunnel’. I’ve always had a ‘WTF’ about that bit. I get it now. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a tunnel that length, or stuck in a tunnel of any length, especially with bike gear on. Sweating just at the thought. As much as I wouldn’t be able to tune into a local radio station, I hope that the other vehicles would!
Then all hell broke loose.
Wind, rain, more wind; my Visorcat was working on overtime. Later on, I was trying to show Ed how busy my arm was; whacked myself in the eye. By the time I get home, I may need to crack open the new one that’s waiting for me! Ed, smug git, didn’t get the same gooshing that I did. He has more weather protection than I have. A tall Givi screen helps too.
The weather didn’t stop us, we literally battered on down the motorway, making *ahem* good progress. Riding to the (horrendous) conditions. Fuel and coffee time. Well, Smoggy got fuel, we both got coffee. Ed realised when he went to pay for pumps 6&8 that there was nothing to pay for pump 8. I don’t know if he was ready to have a big debate about it, then he realised that he was too busy faffing with his gloves! Hee Haw! After his coffee, back he went. Put fuel in this time.
We wanted to get as close to Bologna as possible, hoping to go to Ducati on Wednesday. Apparently their tour of the factory is well worth the visit. If we don’t do anything else ‘touristy’, then at least we can say ‘we did’ Ducati!
We eventually, after a slog through tolls on the motorway, we opted for a random town, as we do, Reggio nell’Emilia. It was rush hour, and observation techniques were honed to an entirely different level. Lots of neck exercises. Traffic lights. Car got into the space between Ed and I. Not good. I didn’t want to jump the red light. I lost Ed. There’s only one thing for it, pop onto a pavement (big, with trees) and wait. That’s the rule. Don’t ride on. Just stop and wait. He’ll find me. He did.
Two hotels, no space. They either had 1) no space or 2) didn’t want soggy bikers. Third hotel had a room. By then I have to admit to being rather tired, after 7 hours riding. I believe Ed called me a lightweight. The hotel was a bit odd, but it was a bed. We stayed in for dinner, only because, yet again, we didn’t have lunch. Ed says we need to stop that, I get grumpy. Don’t know what he’s talking about. Hand over the chocolate!
Dinner was a combination of Fawlty Towers and Acorn Antiques. They didn’t do very well at ‘up selling’ drink of any description. The service… Ed and I watched the waitress, looked at each other and declared at the same time, “Two soups?!” aka Julie Walters! Oh dear.
Anyway, it was food. Crap, but food. Sleep came very easily, before 10:30. We had made an effort to book the tour tomorrow for Ducati, however, it was an unknown, we had to wait for conformation. That’s for another blog.
It was lovely to discard our heated jackets, thermals, long socks and other warm add ons, that’ll no doubt be put to use on our return journey. The only problem I’ve had is locating my lightweight socks….. Which pannier are they in?