In at the deep end

Venizia, Dolomiti, non-starto.

June 9, 2008

*Bang, bang, bash, bang, twock*
“Muuch better”, I admire my work; my pannier was decidedly trapezoid after a failed U-turn until I took it off and bashed it on the ground a couple of times, god I love these Jesses.
Feeling very pleased with myself I motored on for the remaining five miles to Venice.

“How much!?”
“18 euros per night”
Fuckin’ ell, I paid not much more than that for a hostel, let alone a bloody camp site!
Ah well, considering the parking next door costs €10 a day, and I was going to get the ferry to the city anyway, it works out relatively cheap.
Still, €90 budget for one day in Venice (including two nights camping) is a bit of a departure from my regular budgetary constraints.

Beautiful place Venice.

I found it very difficult to take photos in Venice, the whole place is so beautiful, you end up either taking photos of everything in sight, or taking photos of nothing because you can’t decide what to photograph!
And while it was in fact very beautiful, I found myself feeling it would be a much more pleasent experience if I A) had quadruple my budget and B) was bring a girlfriend, as it is a very romantic city.

I did my usual thing of trudging round getting lost because I was too cheap to buy a map, and too lost to find the tourist information office and decided to go home early before I spent even more than I’d originally bargained (which was, by my standards, quite capacious enough already).
Getting back to my ferry port however proved to be something of a difficulty, I eventually found my landmark, which in my head was “that gigantic pillared church on the waterfront”, but unfortunately it turned out not to be the right one…
After much effing and blinding I managed to find the correct stunning piece of architecture and sat down on the steps with a sigh to await my ferry.

“So you chilling out for a few weeks before you head off to Sandhurst?”
I whipped round at this suddent burst of impeccable queens English to see a three ‘lads’ (proper lads, rugby players at a guess) sat further up the steps.
Cheekily I evesdropped on a good ‘ole fashioned lads conversation with associated lewdness, attempting to stifle my own laughter at several points so as not to give away the fact that I was listening in proved difficult.
Turns out one of them had just done his entry exams for the army.
“… and 44 press ups”
“What? But 44 press ups is so easy!”
Inwardly I balked at this statement and wondered where my phenotype had let me down.
I never butted in to their conversation but contented myself with laughing silently.

The next day I was off, off to the Dolomites!

There seems to be quite a lot of bikers on this road… I wonder why…

1700m high, not much really, but still very beautiful (and kinda cold, hence the muffs)
I wandered up hill and down dale in an attempt to find a free camp site, but the whole place was so splendid that everyone else had the same idea, hence a million and one “NO CAMPING” signs everywhere, and nowhere was hidden enough for me to ignore these signs.Eventually I find myself a legitimate campsite at a shocking €16.50 (same as Rome!) and bedded down for the night.

On the morrow I dumped my panniers and headed up the nearest mountain I could find, passing hundreds of masochists, sorry, cyclists on the way up, when all of a sudden, CLATTER, CLATTER, CFUT pffft.
I rolled to a halt, self imposed by the brake, didn’t fancy rolling backwards for 5 miles and desperately pushed the starter button.
Much clattering ensued and then finally, only clicks.
Bugger… Oh well, nowhere better for a bump start!
I turned the bike around, freewheeled for a bit and dumped it into second.
*SCREEECH* The engine locked up, hmm… neutral freewheeling for me I guess!

I rolled my way back down the mountain-side and into a garage, and after desperately kicking my starter motor, parked up and hitched a lift back to my campsite for my tools with a passing biker, +1 for the universal clan!
After picking up my tools I managed to catch the worlds most convoluted bus back to my bike, it took an hour to go from point A to point B, which were seperated by 5km of alpine road.
Eventually getting to my destination, I pulled apart my starter…

Erm… I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think it’s supposed to look like that…

A shot of the outer casing.

Quite how the fuck that happened I haven’t the foggiest, oh well… quick call to BMW tomorrow for a new starter motor I guess!
Looks like I’ll be stuck in the awful awful Alps for a few days… Oh no!
*cracks open a beer*