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TDI2019 Day 11 – La Spezia -> Brescia

Today’s trip to Brescia is going to be a full mix of landscapes – saying goodbye to the sea, crossing the Apennines and onward across the Pianura.

For this I get up very early as I’ve planned to drive along some very small and interesting single-lane roads, exploring rural Italy away from any main roads.

My motto for today

My motto for today

From La Spezia, driving northwards, I immediately start climbing towards the Apennine.

Here, the road is still very much OK

Here, the road is still very much OK

And the views to be seen are really worth the never-ending hair-pin bends on less-than-ideal road surfaces.

Castle close up

Castle close up

Castle on hill whilst climbing

Castle on hill whilst climbing

The further back the valley I get, the less tarmac the road surface is made of. The road itself remains steep and will remain so until around 1500m above sea level!

Random tarmac leading up the hill

Random tarmac leading up the hill

The road doesn't get any better

The road doesn’t get any better

The views, however, make all the difference. As does the absence of traffic. On the upper part of the pass I didn’t cross any other vehicle for about 4 hours!

Yet another viewpoint

Yet another viewpoint

The road leading up to the pass

The road leading up to the pass

Nearly at the top of the pass

Nearly at the top of the pass

At the top, the road surface is close to off-road and reminds me of my TWIKE adventures in India.

TWIKE's were not made for these road surfaces

TWIKE’s were not made for these road surfaces

Typical road surface

Typical road surface

I had planned to skim the hilltops along a precarious-looking and windy road and had driven fairly off-course to do so, but unfortunately, the road was blocked due to a hill slide. With this, I had to keep going in the wrong direction for another 30km before being able to get back to a road that goes in the right direction.

The detour, however, was not too bad at all! More views and hills with small and quaint villages.

Yet another village on some hill

Yet another village on some hill

Weird middle-of-nowhere war memorial

Weird middle-of-nowhere war memorial

Eventually, the road took us back down to the valley, promising lots of energy flowing back into the battery.

Left or right?

Left or right?

Yet another valley

Yet another valley

Traversing the Apenin

Traversing the Apennines

With the last hill crossed, I get a glorious view of the Pianura, Europe’s widest valley. Nice to look at… super boring to cross.

Slowly driving towards the Pianura

Slowly driving towards the Pianura

The Pianura in the background

The Pianura in the background

Another iconic TW560 image

Another iconic TW560 image

I hate the Pianura

I hate the Pianura

After 80km of flat roads, I finally see the first hills of the Alps – Brescia sits nicely nestled at the foot of these first hills – I’m looking forward to having some food with my friends. They both love cooking and usually treat me to some home-made delicacies when I visit. – can’t wait!

Arriving in Brescia

Arriving in Brescia

Close detail of my odesey

Close detail of my odyssey