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TOUR D'ITALIA - by David Mills  Slices of Life 1
 

My sister, Aneata, and Andrea, her husband, owned a hotel on the banks of Lake Campotosto, L'Aquila, in Italy.  They had built it from the ground up; it had 110 rooms. 

 

I had occasion to visit it for a vacation.

 

One problem was the location, as it stood just too far from the lake to be really accessible, a long walk indeed. While I was there, though, I befriended a labourer who had a beautiful 27-speed bicycle, and it was not long before I had asked if I may borrow it, to which he agreed.

 

One morning I set out on the bike for the lake, and having arrived I headed northward.  I passed over a dam under which a river flowed, and soon was at the town, Campotosto, on the lake.  I stopped at this pretty little settlement for breakfast, then continued along my course. I had a lot of experience with cycling, mostly in the demanding mountains of Wales, so the hilly terrain of Italy wasn’t a challenge, and I tootled along the main drag which had very little traffic and few built-up areas, on a beautiful day, not too hot as the route was quite high up in the mountains.

 

Eventually I arrived at a bridge that crossed the lake, so I took that until I found it put me back on the road I had been on before, so I crossed it back and resumed my circumnavigation of the lake.

 

After several hours I found myself back at the steep, uphill road to the hotel,

and forced my weary body to manage the couple of miles up to the hotel. 

I slept like a baby that afternoon – wonderful invention the siesta – and

returned the bicycle to its owner.

 

This was my Tour d’Italia.