Day 40: Figs, Swimming in the Adriatic, and Karaoke Competitions August 9
Polesella to Chioggia 40 miles
Started our morning off with breakfast and a photo shoot. Our hotel manager asked if he could take photos of us for his hotel's website. Hey, why not? We powered out 26 miles before 11am! We are cutting through this flat terrain like butta'! We even had time to have a cappuccino because it was still early enough! Another touring cyclist pair passed us while we were at the cafe. Turns out they were a Belgian mother/son pair cycling from Belgium to Rome.
How cool? They were just as frustrated with the heat so after our chat we all set off in our opposite directions trying to beat the scorching sun. One of the best parts of today was the pilfering!!! We pilfered grapes and FIGS!!! We ate figs right off of the tree on our way down one of the canals of the Po. Andrea has been looking for grapes to pilfer that weren't in someone's yard, garden, or vineyard. We found them today growing wild on a fence that did not seem to belong to anyone! Both fruits were so sweet that made our mouths dry, which is good so we drank more water as we rode! Yay!!!! We made it to Chioggia and Venice County by 12:30. This is the beginning of the end of our trip. Chioggia is the last stop before we take the ferries and cycle up the barrier islands to Venice. We think we might camp tonight. Use all of our camping gear one last time before we pack it up for good. We found a grocery store and had lunch in the shade. It wasn't hard to find a campsite since there are about 10 on this beach resort peninsula. We chose a descent one. They were all pretty pricey but this one had direct access to the beach and was on the lower end of the high prices. After finding a decently shady site in the packed campground we headed off to the beach to go swimming in the Adriatic. It was spectacular!!!! The water was warm and the sun was getting lower. Even though there were lots of people on the beach it didn't feel insanely crowded. We swam and swam and then laid out in the lounge chairs provided by the camp ground. Andrea ran back and picked up a couple of cans of beer at the camp shop, so we stretched out, read books and drank a beer on the beach while the sun began to set ( the only time I can take my very pale Scottish husband to the beach). Back at the campsite Andrea was practicing the uke and one of the camp's activities directors invited her to attend the karaoke night and play uke later on that evening around 10pm. We weren't sure if we would even be up at 10 so we said we might be there. We had dinner at the campsite restaurant which was pretty good! Where else can you get a Frutti di Mare pizza, brick oven baked, at a camp ground? Only in Italy! It was hot and mosquito-y and the karaoke hadn't started by 10 so we tried to go to bed. But the campground had other plans. It was so incredibly hot in the tent and all you could hear was the karaoke night and people talking and partying all over the campsite. Sleep wasn't happening any time soon, so Andrea got up and redressed at 11pm and went out to see if they still wanted her to play. Turns out she was expected and they pulled her back stage to prepare. With a big introduction and a dedication to Bruce ( who had also gotten up.. What a supportive husband he is!), she performed Stay with Me by Sam Smith both singing and playing the ukulele in front of a much bigger crowd than she expected. She got a huge round of applause, especially from the gaggle of tween girls at the front of the stage (she collects middle schoolers wherever she goes). The camp director asked if we would wait and watch a couple more performers. It was cooler outside then in the tent, so sure...Why not?. One guy even sang Andrea Boccelli, a real crowd pleaser.Turns out this was a competition and guess what? Andrea won! With 98% applause. She got called up at the end and was given a certificate and another round of applause. What a crazy night?!? Sleeping was still really tough in the stifling heat of the tent...But we can handle that for one night... We head to Venice in the morning!
The World is Ours!