Day 30: Naturno to Egna , Italy
Another damp day on the road in Italy - heading towards Merano
My first full day of riding in Italy was damp - but not wet enough to require rain gear - and short. I rode with Ralf from Naturno, through Merano, where we did a bit of wandering, and down to Ora where we had a long lunch and he caught a train to Innsbrook. When I left him at the station, some confusion had caused him to miss the train he needed to be on, and he was going to be waiting for at least an hour, possibly two, for another train. I rode on down the great bike path we had been riding since Bolzano into a light rain that was getting heavier until, looking down the river valley, I could see real rain ahead. Then I stopped for the day. It was really only half a day, with a bit over 40 miles of riding. I really enjoyed getting to know Ralf and doing that was more important than covering distance yesterday and today. I think I can reach Slovenia in three more days, and, if so, riding the better pass, and riding with Ralf has only delayed my arrival there by two days.
Why I stopped for the day
Riding a small road through an apple orchard near Merano
Apples, hills, and clouds, the view for the day
Yesterday and today we rode through what looked like vineyards, but are apple orchards. This region is a huge apple producing region and the apples are grown as branches grafted onto root stems instead of on trees. I saw both trees and these "appleyards" in Germany, but only the appleyards here. It is easier to harvest the apples in the appleyards since they are all in neat rows near the ground.
Riding SS 12 south from Merano to Bolzano
Looking across the valley from SS 12
We rode SS 38 to Merano. It was too busy, but otherwise OK riding similar to yesterdays riding in Italy. In Merano, which was very crowded, we couldn't find the route we wanted going south and ended up riding little agricultural roads through a large orchard until. with the help of a fellow working in the orchard, we found our way to SS 12. SS 12 was good bicycling. It runs along the eastern edge of the river valley while the autoroute and another, much busier, road run nearer the middle of the valley. SS 12 took us to Bolzano. In Bolanzo, we crossed the river and got on a bike path heading south along the river. That bike path, which which was sometimes a small car road, continues south from where I am staying tonight. It is great riding.
A small town, Bronzolo, near the bikepath
On the bike path north of Ora
On the bikepath south of Ora
Often, the bikepath runs right along the river