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TDM2014 – Day 7, Nature’s forces & “la voglio!”

we had a night with awful weather – constant thunderstorms, heavy rain and extreme winds.

meeting the owner of the hotel for check-out early next morning, he informs us that there will be some issues with leaving the region, since many roads are blocked due to landslides.

there are 4 roads leading to the coast from santo stefano d’aveto – 3 of them are blocked. lucky us, that the small road we had planned on taking was the only one still open! furthermore, genova seems to have been hit worst – most of the city and surrounding communities are currently battling floods and blocked roads due to erosion.

he warned us, though, that there would be a good chance that there were more closed roads ahead and that the one we were about to take could be blocked by now because his information was already 1 hour old.

we start out with a real sense of adventure: will we make it to the sea today or will we have to head back to the pianura and drive around the apenin? let’s see!

this is today’s trip – if everything goes more or less well:


View TDM2014 (TW560) TWIKE in a larger map

there is one big difference between travelling in june and doing the same mid-october: available daylight. the last few days we’ve been starting our driving day at dawn and usually drive another hour after sunset. jc and i like stopping from time to time just to explore a place or have some time to take in a view properly…

early morning pic

early morning pic

our must-have for any morning in italy:

kick starting our morning

kick starting our morning

although this pass isn’t very high it was quite a beast! (and the only road we could take!)

our first pass for today and our gateway to the sea

our first pass for today and our gateway to the sea

as suspected by the hotel owner, we indeed ran into some closed roads.

road closed because of a landslide

road closed because of a landslide

fortunately, they didn’t mean us taking extreme detours!

the roads, landscapes and villages are stunning, however. have a quick look at one we crossed:

we slowly make our way down to genova. here we encounter another brilliant stretch of mountain roads:

this is the kind of road we like!

this is the kind of road we like!

on our way down to genova

on our way down to genova

arriving in genova we can see that there have must been quite a storm last night. sandbags, mud, large machinery clearing roads, underground garages being pumped by the fire department, parts of roads missing due to erosion etc! quite a sight. many roads are blocked and we have to take some alternate roads to get through the city.

genova took quite a beating last night - sandbags tried to limit the damage

genova took quite a beating last night – sandbags tried to limit the damage

level 2 flood warning in genova

level 2 flood warning in genova

look out of your twike and see cultural heritage

look out of your twike and see cultural heritage

we slowly crossed the town – many people stopped to look at the TWIKE, at a red light a younger guy with his friends proclaimed how cool it looked and that he absolutely wanted to have it right now! “la voglio!”.

i was tempted to react like the messerschmitt driver we encountered during our TDD2011 in denmark: a guy came up to him and asked him if he would sell his vehicle. his answer was “buy your own!” (kauf dir dein eigenes!) with the undertone that once you’ve bought a messerschmitt you would not sell it ever again. this matches my sentiment for TW560 and this is why no deal was reached just then. 🙂

other interesting pics include:

there, i fixed it!

there, i fixed it!

not the solution i would have wanted for my own recent similar problem.

after crossing the town, we drive another few kms and finally reach our third – and last – objective for this trip: the third northernmost point of the mediterranean.

we made it!

we made it!

our third goal for the trip accomplished

our third goal for the trip accomplished

being a parking lot, this place is not as picturesque as the others, but nevertheless important for us.

since this is the last time we’re going to see the sea on this trip, i felt it was in order to say goodbye until next time (our next trip will be to … hmm … we’ll let you know in time 🙂

the closest i could get to the third point

the closest i could get to the third point

with just 13 kms left in the battery, we are in need of a quick recharge i.e. multiple plugs or one big one. looking around the village we only can source one small plug at a time.

cruising along the lido in search of a plug

cruising along the lido in search of a plug

we head out to a camping site further down the coast only to find it closed. down to 6 kms we decide to drive another 4 km to the next port and try to source a 32A plug.

driving along the coast

driving along the coast

we arrive at the port and without any further questions get the plugs we need! aah. we were really getting to a point where things would have been a squeeze!

always a good bet for quality plugs: ports

always a good bet for quality plugs: ports

after 70 mins of recharging we are ready for the second part of the day: crossing the apenin yet again – we will be climbing from 0m altitude to 1500 and cross a nature reserve – we’re really looking forward to this part of our trip today!

on our way up the first hill away from the sea we see village after village where everyone has come out to help clear and rinse their properties from debris and dirt washed onto their properties during the night.

the whole village helps cleaning up

the whole village helps cleaning up

outside the villages, roads are covered in mud and sometimes we just barely cross some sections due to our low battery bay!

miles after miles of mud-covered roads

miles after miles of mud-covered roads

TW560 getting very dirty

TW560 getting very dirty

we then enter the nature reserve and keep climbing km after km.

roads in this nature reserve were mostly ok. one feature we really liked were the river crossings and TWIKE rinsing opps – we filmed one for you 🙂

the sound the water makes when the TWIKE goes through is a big WHOOSCHAA!

the landscapes of this nature reserve were stunning!

the valley we came from

the valley we came from

then we arrive at one of many spots meriting more than just a quick glance. breathtaking.

such an impressive spot

such an impressive spot

zooming out a little

zooming out a little

even a little further away

even a little further away

wow!

nice pictures sometimes involve some climbing

nice pictures sometimes involve some climbing

we are still climbing from hill to hill and are already way beyond 1200m altitude when we look back and see our little road snaking along the hills:

road climbing and climbing

road climbing and climbing

our road snaking up the hill in the background

our road snaking up the hill in the background

we finally get to the top of the hills at 1550m and enter yet another valley:

another 20kms without infrastructure?

another 20kms without infrastructure?

without mobile reception it is a little difficult to ascertain if our terrain will drain the last 30% of our battery before the descent towards the pianura at 150m. lacking any other option (we’ve been driving though 35kms of electricity-less landscapes so far) we just keep going.

eventually, we leave the nature reserve and are back to civilization.

leaving the nature reserve, small villages on the hills

leaving the nature reserve, small villages on the hills

arriving at the pianura, we’re back to long straight and flat roads with which i will not bore you.

one of the highlights of our day way the b&b we had booked for the night. an extremely friendly owner plus really nice rooms and amenities.

parking for the night at casa mortarino

parking for the night at casa mortarino

the owner stayed with us to chat way into the night (temperatures were very nice, just a light jumper required) – casa mortarino is really worth the stay!

a very comfy and nice room at casa mortarino

a very comfy and nice room at casa mortarino

one other thing we really appreciated today was the fact that the owner of the hotel who gave us the information regarding the roads this morning called us late afternoon to see how we had travelled and wanted to know if everything was ok – wow, this is dedication at its best!