Saturday 21 September 2013

Day 1: Aldo Pacer, rice fields and Orta Lake

Do you remember Aldo of Pedalando per non dimenticare? Unbelievable pacer today! He went along my first Stage of Turin - Black Forest with me for the first 60 km. With his help (I have been in the wake of him all the time) I arrived up to Santhià with an average speed of about 30 Km/h.

After a coffee, the ritual photos and greetings I resumed my journey along the Vercelli's plain lands with rice fields always on my side. I got the direction following Carisio - Buronzo - Rovasenda and Gattinara (famous for the wine).

The rice fields landscape is nice (in this period the rice is mature and the fields are not flooded), unfortunately I had to deal with clouds of mosquitoes, it was like a bucketful thrown in the face of mosquitoes, the important was to keep the mouth closed. 
From Gattinara I met a couple of bikers, who were curious about my luggages, they asked me my destination, I told them about my trip, and they accompanied me and showed me the way to Gozzano despite they were much faster than me. This is another of the aspects I love when travelling, the casual encounters, the solidarity, and the contagious enthusiasm. 

The arrival on Orta Lake was a bit disappointing, despite it is a very nice place, there is no way to access the lake, I had the intention to have my sandwich seat close by the lake side and sadly I discover that there is no a meter of the lake shore where you can access, continuing gates, walls, enclosures etc. There is a small land tongue between the road and the lake and it is filled up of houses, not only old houses but they are even buildings of new ones. Personally I think it is a shame that natural resources should be available to everybody and not to few private, at least not in such massive way.

Finally I can find a small road that lead to the lake between the Orta sail club and an ancient villa, here I can have finally my sandwiches in spite of the private property.
Before going to the hotel I decide to take a short look at Orta village, it is full of weekend tourist attempting to park their car, I didn't have that problem. I take some picture, and then I decide to face the uphill toward Ameno which has inclination of 7-8%.

In the afternoon the temperature started being quite hot, and i arrived at the Hotel Monterosa really sweaty. Here they are really kind and available to help me, the room despite it is a single room is quite spacious and the view of the lake and the mountains (specifically Monterosa, I think this is the reason of the hotel name) is wonderful.

The dinner is of high quality, the hotel has a quite big vegetables garden which produces vegetables for the restaurant. Federico, the owner, has a great sensitivity about bicycle, if he would have had more time, he could accompany me up to the Italian border. Thank you Federico for the hospitality I hope to have occasion to stay again at Hotel Monterosa

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