Orange bikes in the sun

Asolo to Solighetto

We left Asolo this morning and the minute Papa put
foot to pedal his chain fell off! After that had been fixed, we turned left
three times and went uphill – everyone promised me we wouldn't have to bike
uphill again today. In fact (and Mama will back me up on this) l was promised a kilometre of down to make up for yesterday's kilometre of up. When we did
finally have a down, it was wrong and we all had to push back up the hill again
(pushbikes – remember).

Stopped in Maser for iced tea or coke depending on preference
and then got back on the bikes for 300 meters before we got off again to visit
Villa Barbaro a Palladio mansion, which has the most amazing frescos, full of
trompe d'oeil, hidden pictures and jokes. Mouse adored it, and particularly
enjoyed looking for all the dogs, either hidden or in plain sight.

From there,
we cycled on through the plain to Col S. Martino, where we stopped at quite a
posh restaurant for lunch. The boys ate masses; I had gnocchi in tomato sauce –
simple but good, and melon with parma
ham.

The rest of the day involved some quite busy roads which was a bit
difficult at times. Mouse nearly gave me (another) heart attack by freezing on
a roundabout – I more or less had to cycle around him to stop the traffic. And
there was a very busy and quite narrow bridge where unfortunately he was behind
me, so all I could do was keep going and check he was OK the minute I could
stop. Mama did point duty there for me, as she was behind him.

Papa always
brings up the rear so I know he'll deal with anything that I don't see;
Handsome is group leader and does check frequently that he has all his little
chicks in tow; Hairy usually rides as near the front as he can manage; Mouse
comes next so he can ride ahead with his dad and brother if he wants to or he
can drop back and cycle with me if it's a bit more challenging, or if he can't
keep up. Then it's me, then Mama, which gives us a chance to occasionally have
some peace and quiet to look at the scenery.

The hotel tonight is very
different. Lots of covered trellis walkways with vines and wisteria – we have
three separate little 'cottages', each with their own courtyard (perfect for
parking bikes) and rustic table and chairs. We have tonight completely spoiled
the atmosphere by draping wet washing over said rustic tables, and even on the
bikes! I never realised they made such good drying racks.

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