A day in Cinque Terra (Five Villages)

Vernazza

The early autumn weather on the Italian Mediterranean has some of the intense heat taken out of it. Perfect for a day for exploring the Cinque Terra.

The easiest way to explore the five villages of the Cinque Terra is by train and foot.

There had been a storm in the Mediterranean overnight with gave a cool breeze.

And some uncommonly wild waves for the Mediterranean. Both at Vernaza and Riomaggiora

There is a series of walking paths the connect the five coastal villages of the Cinque Terra.

I chose to take the coastal walk from Vernazza to Corniglia and enjoy the coastal views

And the views were worth it.

I visited three villages.

Vernazza

Corniglia

And Riomaggiora which I think was the most beautiful

This was really the last part of this adventure as now a tired piecemeal adventurer and a tired mighty Breva wind our way back to England.

An overnight in Boccadasse a little piece of the old Mediterranean in Genoa.

Before catching the ferry to Barcelona

And the sun sets as the ferry says goodbye to Italy for this trip.

The 100th Anniversary of Moto Guzzi at Mandello de Lario

Dear friends and followers this post is an unabashed dedication to Moto Guzzi. My Brevas have carried me faultlessly for near on 200,000km in Australia and 100,000km in Europe over the last 10 years. Many of you have followed those adventures.

Coming to Mandello in many ways is the culmination of my European Adventure. An adventure that started in 2016 and has taken me from the west coast of Ireland to the Romanian coast of the Black Sea and from the Actic Circle in Norway to the edge of the Sahara in Morocco. And so many places in between.

It was a huge celebration in Mandello. The official estimate is that 60,000 people attended the party.

A celebration of the great marque Moto Guzzi and motorcycling in general. The party had been delayed a year due to the pandemic so everyone was ready to celebrate.

A must view part of a visit to Moto Guzzi is the refurbished museum.

There is even a mighty Breva in the museum.

But the main action was in the streets.

And of course Mandello put on the food and wine.

Absolutely amazing gelato cups

Local wine and Pizza with my mechanic mate Baldrick

And a spit roast oven big enough to roast a whole cow!

Saturday night the music played loud. As the locals and visitors alike tucked into the cow with polenta.

Five amazing years travelling Europe, meeting beautiful people who are now friends. Falling in love in Europe with Europe, guided by the goddess Europa.

Thank you Moto Guzzi the motorcycle marque on the Lake Como, the Lake of Dreams. Happy 100th Anniversary!

Three Col (passes) to Italy

From Gorge du Verdon the choice is to head to the French Mediterranean or into the Alps.

I chose the Alps a big U turn into the Alps before crossing to Italy and on to Tuscany.

Before there big passes including the biggest in Europe I couldn’t resist this little one. Every Michael should visit it!

This little Colle sits above the Vale du Verdon

I had followed the Verdon River north toward its source and found a beautiful valley and and the La Colle St Michel.

It’s a remote farming area in France and negotiating the mobs of sheep took me back home to Australia

Then I was up.in the Alps at the Col d Allos

The source of two major rivers in Provence.

And the view!

The next Col though was La Bonette the highest pass is Europe.

Enjoy the view

The weather was looking threatening so it’s was a quick ride with a short stop to take inthe view from the Col de Lombardy, which sits on the France/Italian Border.

I found a little camping in the tiny village of Forani. They had a caravan for hire.

It rained all night, I was snug in a caravan and woke in Italy to amazing views.

Have you heard of the Moncoutant photographic exhibition.

Moncoutant sur Sevre is a beautiful village in Deax Servages and each year it hosts a amazing outdoor photographic exhibition.

I’ve been lucky to be to 4 exhibitions.

It’s not just the quality of the images but the curating in placement around the Village. I have tried to capture both aspects of the exhibition.

Near to Montoucant is the Fortified Farm B&B. A fantastic place to stop take a break when heading east across France toward the Alps or beyond.

The rain had started when I arrived in France. A friend suggested I might be made a saint for breaking the drought!

I was happy to have a bed rather that putting up a tent, thanks to my hosts.

It wasn’t all wet and Jazz the whippet enjoyed the sun.

And me a walk in the forest.

At cloudless night and the low light of rural France gave a clear view of the Milky Way.

A perfect way to finish a stay with the most hospitable hosts in France.

The Royal Parks and another place worth visiting in Richmond, London.

Richmond and Bushy parks are beautiful nature reserves in Richmond.

Richmond Park is around 950 ha and Bushy 450. So 1500ha of old forest, deer and birdlife right in the south west of London.

In Richmond Park a magnificent Stag

And Does and Fawns in Bushby.

The birdlife

And the old trees and forest. Old oaks and hazelnuts

Also in Richmond is Hampton Court Palace. My sister suggested I had to see at least one Palace in London and that Hampton Court was the best.

It is the Palace where Henry viii loved, reformed and beheaded like only a rampant English King can.

Like all palaces it’s lavish.

But Henry was known as a big eater and I big eater needs a big hearth and such was found in Henry’s kitchen.

The mighty Breva was in service for the next leg of this year’s adventure to France Italy and the 100th Anniversary of Moto Guzzi.

But thanks to Badrick I had a baby 750 breva to use for a couple of days.

Not as big and powerful as the Mighty Moto Guzzi Breva 1100 I usually ride. But more horses than the carriage in the Palace!

They are beautiful big working horses though.