Day 10 Poggio Picenze to Rieti 54 miles 3,200 ft climbing

To the Centre of Italy!

All eyes were on the weather forecast as we left this morning , black skies overhead, yet still warm. every weather forecast gave a different picture .

We set off in the direction of L'Aquila which was the episode centre of the earthquake 9 years ago ,the idea was to bike through the town, however it soon became apparent that the new roads built after the earthquake were not the best for biking on at all so we took the decision to divert around the town.

The small roads round the town were an absolute delight if a little steep it had to be said. But after a worthwhile diversion we were back on track.

We met Kjell and Anita for a coffee stop and then proceeded along the ss17 towards Reiti . This is a classic Mille Miglia route and you could just imaging the cars flying down these roads. At last we had found fantastic roads with virtually no traffic ,steady climbs and great views.

After a very long descent of over 10 miles we came across this Mille Miglia curve

Unfortunately the heavens opened and poor Mark got caught in the most horrific downpour , his "waterproof" jacket proved less than useless and he became very cold indeed.

We therefore abandoned the picnic lunch and ended up in a sort of gambling cafe , the patron was delighted to serve us hot chocolate and toasted sandwiches.

The last 15 miles was a blast into Rieti to try to avoid more rain , but alas we were poured on for 10 miles.

What a treat Rieti proved to be, proud to be the "centre of Italy " as shown by the monument the Umbilicus of Italy.

There were late Piazzas and fantastic architecture around almost every corner.

But enough of this biking adventure; "What of the Van" ?? Well after the magic medicine from the mechanic; Kjell announced at Coffee that all the warning lights had gone out !! The Van was in full health , well lets just see shall we!

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