Florence to Amsterdam – 1,900km 21 days – Leonardo (GCR Europe Ride Manager) – follow his story – Stage 5.

July 25, 2015

Stage 5: Trento to Merano, the train to Malles.
https://www.strava.com/activities/340260862
Monday 6th July 2015

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Today the morning comes bringing a strong will to pedal, to go away from this hot sticky air; who am I to say no?
As soon as there is enough light, I prepare my bags again, throwing in all the stuff without priority use, like the sleeping bag. Rain jacket on top, always.
The kitchen of the locanda is already open for a goof and smelly coffe and three croissants with chocolate, wow I’m lucky today!
There’s nobody at the reception but I can’t wait, so I drop the room key on the desk and leave Trento, direction is north, I see the mountains now; not clearly like I would, but tonight I will sleep away from this hot weather.

Away from the town, large fields of apple trees, thousands and thousands of apple trees along the bike lane that goes up and down in the valley; after 42km I have the first puncture of the trip, well….I can say that’s really good, after all I am using 25mm road tyres.
The bike path continues like this for loooong time, until 1pm when my stomach decides that’s good for today, I can have a stop and eat that bread and cheese that I borrowed from the locanda, but….what’s this? A sign..this is a sign telling me that in 3km there will be an autogrill for cyclist, like on the highways for cars…
I can’t believe, so I calm down my stomach and ride until I find a kind of open bar like they have in Jamaica, wooden tables, seats, people having a break, the beer master asking me something in German language, which I don’t speak. I say Ja, since he is close to the beers and he prepares me one of the best beers I got during the trip, but I suspect I was quite thirsty in that moment. A German guy coming from north, seeing I was coming from south, asks about some info about water fountains along the path, he is worried to remain without water.
As far as I can remember there are a lot of water fountains along that bike path, via Claudia Augusta, even when I changed the tube I was sitting close to one of them.
He thanks me and gives me a spare tube for my bike. Another guy, coming from north, starts talking about the lane, so we have some more beers all together and then we leave, each one for his side.

This bike lane continues again, all like it started, in the middle of apple trees and close to the river; in the afternoon I am in Merano, the air is really hot, so I check the map and look for a train ticket to Malles with bike transport. Found, bought, jump on train.

The train climbs from 300mt to 980mt (Malles last station), crossing lots of nice villages full of people, colored houses and green valley all along the view.
When in Malles I ask suggestions for a cheap solution to sleep, there is a girl in a shops that makes a phone call and addresses me to Xxxx pension, so I thank the girl and go looking for this new bed.
Easy to find: it’s the last pension on top of the outer part of the village, yeah. But it’s really nice, the bicycle is safe inside a dedicated garage, the room is small but very welcoming, there is no AC and on the bed there is a heavy wool cover. Yess.
Time for dinner, I seat outside and order some good specialties of the zone, and a beer. The lady that speaks with me and brings me the beer is a nice looking woman with blue eyes, we talk a bit before the dinner comes to me and distracting me from those eyes…The beer makes me romantic, I know. The view on the mountains here is awesome, too.
Tomorrow I will cross the Alps, my friends. Can you say “Annibale”?