Month: August 2013

Cars, ferries & feet.

Cars, ferries & feet.Lake Como, Italy Lake Como, Italy Our first full day in Lake Como, so first stop….the wine bar! For a coffee and free wi-fi, that is. This not having Internet at your flat has some benefits after all. Our plan of attack today is to get an all day ferry pass and see the main villages, so off we go to Tremezzo which is the next town with a ferry stop, and hunt for a car park. Now, Lake Como’s roads are quite skinny, and every available space between the lake and the mountains is taken by villas, gardens, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc. not much room for cars. To drive, or to park. Finding an all day park proved quite the challenge, and when we finally found one and headed down to the ferry, the ferry was just pulling away from the pier! Typical! We seem to be experts at just missing our transport on this trip. And the next ferry left in an hour. Luckily, just down the road is a …

Sala Comacina on Lake Como

Sala Comacina on Lake ComoLake Como, Italy Lake Como, Italy With Kate and Sal gone it was just Maddy and I to exercise together, and so at 7.30am we hit the road and walked for an hour and a half around Mombaruzzo, which was a welcome change to running all the time. Back to the Villa for our last breakfast then everyone was off to pack their bags and check out. Whilst Maddy and Co headed to Biella we headed to Sala Comacina on Lake Como, but not before purchasing a SIM card in Nizza, as the apartment we had rented did not have WiFi, an unusual oversight on Hugh’s behalf!! With the language barrier very much tested, we managed to Google translate with the sales assistant on his computer and purchased what we thought was a SIM with data. As we later learnt, we had simply purchased a SIM card with no data, so there goes €30!! Once again we were on our way for a pleasant drive to Lake Como. As lunchtime was …

Pasquero Hilberg winery

Pasquero Hilberg wineryMombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Finally a day that did not involve a drive in to Turin, yippee!! With the World Masters now behind us it was time to relax and take in the Piemonte Region and all it has to offer. We both set our alarms for 6am so we could bid farewell to Kate and Sal before Maddy drove them to the train station. Back to bed for a couple of hours before rising again, refreshed and ready to go. Our Host Nicola had organised a wine tour for us in the town of Priocca at a small biodynamic/organic winery called ‘Pasquero Hilberg’. On the way to the winery, Hugh and I drove through Neive, a small town of 3280 residents. The old town is located at the top of a hill and is laid out in a circular pattern that is enclosed by walls. The Tower of Neive dates back to the 12th century and is the highest point of the town. From here we headed to Barbaresco, a town of …

Masters 10k

Masters 10kMombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Race day Another early start as we all needed to be at race centre by 7.45, so up at 5.50 for a quick brekky in the kitchen, then off to Turin, again! No need for the GPS! We got there by 7.40 and headed to the registration centre to find out where the timing devises were. Stupidly we asked an official, who had no idea. Then we asked another….”non comprendere”. Sigh…… Eventually the girls decided to follow the crowd, which proved more helpful, and we came upon a mass of competitors, and a queue. A queue to get your timing devise! A LONG queue to get your devise! A queue which eventually led to a trestle table with piles of devises all bundled together willy nilly, and a gaggle of volunteers pushing and shoving competitors around, whilst madly trying to find the devise which corresponded with your number. No orderly line, just a shitload of frustration masquerading as controlled chaos. It was like a gaggle of geese, a school of …

A cooks life.

A cooks life.Mombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Another slow start to the day courtesy of Kate and I resting before the big race tomorrow. A lazy breakfast in the gardens followed by some relaxation before taking part in a 2 hour cooking class at the Villa we are staying in. Charlie, who is our chef, took us through the art of making Pasta, Pesto and Gnocchi. It’s amazing how easy it is to make pasta and pesto, even I could have a crack at it when we get home! Our efforts in the kitchen were then plated up by Charlie and served for lunch….delicious. After lunch Hugh and I came to the conclusion that we needed to head back into Turin to sort out the Bib Numbers and timing chips for tomorrow’s 10km race. An hour and half and several JJ Cale tracks later (RIP JJ) we arrived in Turin but could not find the Stadium, so back to the Games Centre for directions then off again to find the Stadium. GPS was in meltdown. Eventually …

A tale in two…

A tale in two…Mombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy As the girls ventured out for their daily exercise, Hugh and I took advantage of another sleep in. I’m saving my legs for the run on Sunday, whilst Kate is tapering off. A quick brekky with the girls in the garden then off to Turin to register for our 10km run on Sunday. An hour and half later we arrived at a retail foodie place called Eataly, which houses a market type atmosphere ranging all manner of typical Italian fare and a wine/beer cellar over 2 floors. We were all in heaven. A couple of hours later we had eaten lunch, bought a couple of snacks and headed to the Games Centre. Upon arrival it seemed pretty straight forward, the crowd was minimal so Registration was bound be done in 5 minutes……how wrong we were. First of all we were in the wrong queue so after 5 minutes we found the correct desk and begun the Registration process. First things first, we were asked if we had a …

La Villa Hotel.

La Villa Hotel.Mombaruzzo, Italy Mombaruzzo, Italy Once again, no sleep in as its once more around the Monterosso block for another run. Not as hot as the last time, but still a sweatfest. We all met for brekky, then down to our favourite coffee place. The main reason it’s our fav is ‘cos Sal & Katie have found a bucket of weak coffee they like. Who would have thought, in the home of coffee, that such a thing exists? Time to pack up and say goodbye to the ladies….we’ll miss you all soooo much. See you in three hours!! The Cinque Terra was just fabulous, we had a ball. Now, off to La Spezia by train to pick up our hire car for the trip to La Villa, in Casalotto, which is nearish to Asti for those with a map. Our car was a beast….as long as you pedalled fast! A ****** old Polo which really hated hills and overtaking. Not withstanding our struggling chariot we made to our destination by about 3pm. La Villa …