We catch a night ferry from Split to Ancona in Italy and wake up in Europe. I try not to contemplate the next mountain range we have to ride over - the Appenines. Luckily, there is not too much time lost in contemplation since we ride over the Appenines in a day. I am still not sure how that happened, but we came shooting down the side of a mountain into rolling hills around late afternoon.
In fact, it is not just the Tour de France contenders who ride bikes in this country, it is everyone. Which makes a wonderful change. Cyclists have been few and far between since India, and here in Italy we are accepted on the roads as opposed to being chased off them by buses and trucks. In little Italian villages every age group pedals about, although some nonnas have electrified their bikes, so they whizz past with only a few desultory pedalling actions. The villagers tend not to cycle in lycra, however. The lycra club is reserved for males who are capable of cycling a 10 second kilometre.