Even sailors need a holiday. Luckily we have great friends – Wera & Gremml -who organised an all inclusive cycling holiday in Finale Ligure in the Italian Mediteranean Alps for us. All we had to do was fly to Milan where they picked us up and transported us to our luxury holiday appartment. (As sailors, a washing machine, a dishwasher and a freezer is definitely luxury.)
The first tour Wera had planned was called “Nato base” and reminded me of my cold war days when I was “working” for NATO. We received the routes just before take off and the first day was “the fitness test” where we got on our bikes and cycled nine hundred vertical meters up to an abandoned mititary station on the top of the mountain. Once we had passed that test we followed trails all the way down the other side before doing another two hundred vertical meters back up hill. I had hired a “Enduro” downhill bike so had a bit of additional weight to add to the fun. I was also a bit under the weather from being ill in the days running up tp the holiday. The downhill sections were amazing fun and I survived the uphill – just.
The second day was similar but I gave up after “only” 600 meters of climbing and went back to rest in the appartment. The other three once again threw themselves down brilliant trails and we met afterwards for a beer in the old mediaeval town below the castle. Finale offers a beautiful mixture of interesting trails sprinkled with historic sights and stunning views.
On day three Wera took us out on some shorter but steeper trails. I was very glad I had my Enduro as it seemed to get down anything I was willing to try. That evening we finally managed to reserve a table at the local pizzeria. It was very good which explains why you have to book days ahead.
On the final day we cycled down to the sea and did a trail high above the Mediterranean. At one point it looked liked failing to get round the next rock would have us landing in the sea 500 meters below. Gremml and Wera finished with a swim in the sea while we both mumbled about “waiting for the Caribbean”.
A thoroughly enjoyable holiday in a stunning location with great friends. That is how life should be.