Across the Alps 2900miles
Signposting isn't an Italian strength, however. Every approach to any town much bigger than Cardenden follows the same pattern;
- Approach with confidence seeing a sign to the place beyond you want to get to.
- Lose signposting immediately you're within the city limits.
- Ride around hopelessly for an hour vainly seeking signs to anywhere on the map.
- Irritate locals to within inches of their lives by stopping suddenly at every junction, staring around at the few available signs and scratching your helmet.
- Eventually (if it has its hat on) use the sun and the time to head in a vague direction and hope that the road doesn't wind round (which it always does!).
Seen two accidents in the two hours I've been in Livorno (no injuries). Children standing in the footwells of step-throughs. Motorcyclists and moped riders riding with helmets undone and nothing in the way of protective clothing. One girl in an excellent leather jacket but with sandals on, so if she comes off she'll live, but have no feet! The trick, I suppose, is not to come off! Not always easy.
Now being delayed by wait for confirmation of availability of Libyan visa. What to do? Head south in the hope it comes and enjoy Italy? Stay put and not 'waste' fuel? Head over to Morocco now? Decisions, decisions.
And a slight pang of guilt that there are no tourists around. Why? Because they are all working and I'm not! It still, while I'm in Europe, feels like a fantastic extended holiday. That makes it seem a bit frivolous and so I'm looking forward to getting into Africa and it becoming more challenging. Must go and phone the man in London . . .