TorinoAugust 29th, 2008
I’m in Torino this morning. I hope to leave this afternoon. Waiting for the DHL courier to show up to camping… I left my passport at the camping in Laiguegia — well they forgot to give it back to me. But I should never have given them the passport… prefer to pay in advance anyway.
Torino is pretty ordinary. I would never have come here if it wasn’t for the passport. I arrived here 2 days ago. On the roads around the city there are African prostitutes waiting for truck drivers. Not sure which country they’re from but the one I spoke to gave good directions in English. Last evening in the city I saw a junkie sitting on a park bench shooting heroin.
Yesterday I got a new chain and gears for the bike, a new tyre, a new tube, and new brakes. So the day wasn’t completly wasted. One of my tubes is a bit leaky which is annoying because it was new.
The camping is up on the hills on the other side of the Po river. It is situated on a decadent estate called Villa Rey. Apart from being next to a nice old mansion (which seems to be used as offices or something) with a view over the apartment blocks to the north of the city, the facilities are horrible. And it is the most expensive camping I have been to, even more than Vienna. Also it’s a long steep hill to cycle up to.
I wasn’t sure what to expect of Italy. Perhaps olive groves, vineyards, arid mountains, friendly people, Italian style residential architecture like in the suburbs of Perth, clothes drying hanging out of windows and balconies. Well it was all of that. The houses even have little lion statues — or eagles, or doves — on the front gates. Passed by a lot of car horn beeping and shouting outside a restaurant in a little village. Thought it was an argument but it was actually more or less normal conversation.
Came in from France along the coast, which is busy. Finally I had a swim in the mediterranean. It was warm and quite salty. My camping was 2 minutes walk from the beach… but most of it was private beaches were you had to rent a chair and umbrella!
Cycling was at times exhausting, because I headed inland (into the hills) to avoid the traffic near the seaside. I am now going in the general direction of Venice.