Today’s purpose is to pedal my way to Italy’s Lake Garda, ending my day with a bath in the lake.
Purpose means nothing when I get my East and South directions mixed up and I don’t arrive to Lake Garda until 8.30pm.
Much to my horror on arrival Lake Garda is bumper to bumper with a tourist traffic jam. It is horrendous and I will never myself or recommend to others to visit this place in tourist season.
Darkness has fallen and I am still very nervous about wild camping near residential areas. I stop to turn my rear light on but it doesn’t come on. I’ve had a frustrating day and pedalled way more miles than I should of because of consistent directional mistakes. It’s dark. My lights not working. I have nowhere to camp. And I’m scared. Tears form and I pedal on crying looking behind me in case a car doesn’t see me and knocks me down.
I pass a hotel with a ‘Full’ sign. I stop and wipe my tears away. I feel desperate as I knock the door, explaining my situation and asking to pitch my tent in their garden.
It’s the first time I’ve done this on my trip cycling around the world and I am expecting refusal. Instead of refusal, I’m taken into the hotel and given a hot shower and homemade meal. The hotel is full but they offer me a big couch underneath a large domed skylight. I am so thankful and fall asleep watching the stars above me feeling nothing but appreciation. In the morning I am served a hearty breakfast just as the other guests are. When it comes time to leave, the family all come to say goodbye and wish me well on my journey and giving me a necklace for protection. They absolutely refuse any parting of money from me.
I cycle away filled to the brim with the goodness of human compassion.
Huge thank you to Alessandro, Barbara and Victor, the family of Hotel La Passeggiata.
Hotel La Passeggiata
Viale E. Andreis 100, 25015 Desenzano d/G BS