Saturday, July 16, 2011

Isola Del Giglio Part One

Our trip to the Tuscan island of Giglio (Lily) was an adventure but I did not have the nerve to take the ST1200 on the dirt at the end of the paved road but we did ride the paved road the five miles as far as that went.

The views were spectacular.

And the drop offs were enough to cause my wife riding pillion, palpitations.

But I am getting ahead of myself. As usual.

We crashed in bed exhausted after our 12 hour 250 mile marathon circling the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi. The next morning we got up, put our fly specked jackets back on and made tracks due west to the coast. It was a fast ride through some lovely countryside but because we had a ferry to catch we were riding for time with no pauses for pictures. Imagine rolling hills, yellow fields of wheat, already harvested, and hedgerows along a winding two lane road. The motorcycles were a BMW R 1200 RT which Giovanni rides and my wife rode pillion while I was onthe R 1200 ST sport tourer I've rented- and I'm enjoying it thoroughly!

Giovanni is always checking his phone when we stop for coffee and the messages always pile up from his cardiology practice while we are on the road. Finally we made it to Porto Santo Stefano on the Tuscan coast with 15 minutes to spare for the eleven o'clock ferry. The tickets were shockingly pricey, 76 Euros for two people and a motorcycle, about $110.

The ferry left on time and we had the cheap thrill of riding the ramp and getting our bikes tied down, which is actually always a break from the routine of riding and thus interesting.

Cheyenne would have been welcome too on a leash and with a muzzle

Though the dogs I saw had no muzzles on them...the view from the deck was lovely.

And soon we were underway for the ten mile crossing at slow speed- it takes an hour!

The island is a stones throw away and we watched the treeless rocky shores quickly come clear through the haze. Giglio has always been a backwater with three small villages, a few miles of road and not much else. There is one swimming beach on the six mile long island and the rest is scrub and rock.

Giovanni planned to split and spend the afternoon on the sand beach at Giglio Campese on the west side while we were going exploring. First lunch then Giglio Castello, the 12th century fortified village at the top of the hill.

More soon in Part Two!

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1 comment:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michael Beattie:

I am pulling out the picture of you tying down the magnificent BMW. The look of longing and love in your face as you admire that fine motorcycle is so obvious. I think you did the right thing by not exploring the dirt road with that highly cultured street bike.