Giancarlo showed up after breakfast wearing his American Patriotic red white and blue suspenders. There was much discussion, and hand waving as we discussed our route. Giovanni's wife Rossana made a point with her hands while Giancarlo checked Google on his iPhone.
Then we stepped out- "Like my suspenders?"
I liked his bike a BMW 650 Dakar.
Giovanni and Rossana rode their BMW R1200RT while my wife and I rode our rented R1200ST. First stop, of course was for coffee -espresso for the hard core and cappuccino for the weaker riders...and a big cream doughnut for me because it looked too delicious to waste on some stranger other than me.
We pulled up in the middle of a wedding reception, our first marital faux pas of this particular Saturday. "Quick! Get a picture of their behinds!" Giancarlo told the photographer in the group, nothing if not obliging.
Hmm, we don't need no stinking GPS.
We got there and we knew we were there when we found a parking lot filled with tents selling the inevitable...
...MacDonald's? Hell no, but...
...dust catchers of course!
Line up for the bus and off we went crowded like sheep to the biggest most spectacular caves no one has heard of.
Photos were not permitted of corse but iPhone users, not my wide or Giovanni of course, clicked away at the back of the line. I got my pictures from the posters at the entrance. My wife took an English audio tour that failed to start so I was left to do a running translation from my mother tongue to her mother tongue.
It was a 90 minute two mile walk through a series of vast spectacular chambers, the largest 750 feet tall, larger than most basilicas in the world. There is a lot of moisture in these mountains in the Marche region and that combined with the caves gives rise to astonishing stalactite and stalagmite formations. The largest of those is said to be 70 feet long hanging from the ceiling. It was absolutely fantastic. But no photos, damn them and damn me for being a rule follower.
After our 68 degree hike we were debating the all important lunch.Then this dude interrupts our endless discussion and says simply follow me. So we did, with Rossana venting her ridiculous bourgeois fears that we were all going to get ripped off in these lonely mountains.
He led us up the canyon to his family home where we sat and ate,
...and ate well.
Pasta followed by sausage and lamb kebabs and potatoes and white wine and...
... panna cotta, custard as delicious as it was pretty.
Eating lunch is serious business in Italy.
Then it was onward and upward to our next riding appointment.
The mysterious Vespa museum of Pollenza, as unknown as the caves of Frasassi, and just as fascinating.
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