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September 2014

Part 7: Perugia

Back on the beautifully painted in Looney Tunes theme ferry of MOBY, I leave Sardinia behind for the port of Civitavecchia, North of Rome. On the deck I am about to start sweating on a rather warm day while countless dogs make too much noise, enough to annoy even Italians. Yes, some of them poo. This brilliant experience escorts my terrible piadini lunch that failed to satisfy my hunger. 5 and a half hours later this wonderful scene comes to an end as we reach our destination, Civitavecchia, "the heart of Italy" as locals baptised it in the pictures below:

The heat goes on, I wear only my summer motorcycle jacket on top and start making my way to my next destination: Perugia. First 60 km are quite pleasant but I see dark clouds gathering ahead so I stop to put my rain gear on. This proved to be a wise choice shortly after as rain started falling but what followed this intro of rain is hard to describe. I soon find myself driving on a pool pretending to be a highway with nearly zero visibility and lots of traffic around me. Very strong wind while it rains dogs and cats. Some car drivers pull over, others put on their hazard blinkers and I continue my way with the hope that a phenomenon of such intensity probably can't last that long. Wishing I could either pass it or it would stop sometime soon, I stop at a filling station to re estimate the situation as neitherseems possible. Dark clouds everywhere, persistent strong wind and non stop heavy rain. I wait a bit at least for the wind to calm down and as soon as it does I put myself on the bike again to ride in rain.

As I reach Perugia my gps app insists in directing me to a non existing road as I try to reach my AirBnB resulting in me doing countless times circles around Perugia under rain while this city is cut in two by a train line minimising the alternative routes. On top of this, Italians driving fast in their cars, tailgating me on roads with grip equal to a soaped marble. Just to give you an idea, I could make my bike tail happy despite all the weight of my luggage on uphills with 3d and sometimes even 4th gear! A "slippery when wet" situation, unsexy af though.

I finally arrive in one piece where my smiley AirBnB hosts welcome me. Very nice guys attending the local university. Not sure the owner of their apartment would have the same idea when he/she would realise they put one of their rooms on AirBnB.

I definitely have a not so good idea about the weather next morning. 9C with fog mid September!

As soon as it clears up a bit I go out to walk the city like snails come out after rain. Those historic centers of the cities of Umbria with all these medieval buildings is a guaranteed pleasure. Perugia is no exception. The bright day that follows the morning gloom helps so much.

Cramped beauty:

Not so cramped beauty:

A bride waits:

Another bride arrives in style:

A few panoramics from the heart of Perugia:

Piaza IV Novembre doesn't take long to steal your heart:

Same goes for the view points of the hilltop:

I take a break at "Parco Pescaia" full of those "lovely Aesculus Hippocastanum" trees:

I return to my AirBnB knowing that another long trip of mine is coming to an end as the only thing left to do is to drive up to Ancona next morning to catch the ferry back to mama Hellas. In the evening all my hosts are out except one and as I am starving I ask her if she can order some food for me since I'm too tired to go out again. Instead she is kind enough to cook for me so we share her dinner and a nice chat as well.

After one ferry and a few hundreds of km I find myself back home starring at some leftovers of my 3000km and 3 weeks long trip:

See you on the next one!