Rides in Italy.
|Two and a half Lakes. Lakes Orta and Maggiore|
|I started about half way down the left side of the picture. This is on the eastern shore of Lake Orta. I did the route in an anti-clockwise direction.|
|There were no big climbs, but over the course of 80 kms there was a total climb of just over 400 meters.|
I drove up the night before. I would have preferred to go "stealth" camping in the wild, but it was looking difficult to find a remote spot where I would not get into trouble.
Wild camping is not allowed in Italy, and it was hard to find a place I could leave the car and ride off into the wilderness to find a quiet place to camp.
I decided to stay at a camp site.......
I had a nice view down onto Lake Orta, but it was a bit noisy with all the holiday people.
We did have an amazing dawn chorus as all the birds woke up at about the same time. It encouraged me to make an early start.
|The camp site had their own beach, with a few boats to rent. For a brief moment I considered giving up the ride and renting a boat, but in the end I decided I should do the ride.|
|The ride south towards Gozzano was very pretty. The road was a bit busy, but the scenery made up for it. The little island is close to the town of Orta.|
|Near to Orta, there was this very ornate church. The style is very different from the usual churches in the small towns.|
Crossing from the south end of Lake Orta, towards Lake Maggiore, the small towns were not too interesting. They all looked to have been built 50 or 60 years ago, with little sign of any "old town".
The exception was Arona, on the shore of Lake Maggiore. That is a nice town and the piazza near the waterfront well preserved and very pretty.
|Riding along the shore of Lake Maggiore, all the hydrangeas reminded me of the Azores, where most of the hedges are hydrangeas.|
|There are many very large houses on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Most of them are completely hidden from the view of the hoi-poloi, but when you see several kilometers of stone wall, topped by a neatly manicured hedge, one can but imagine the house that is hidden in the trees.|
|This would be typical of the views that these house would enjoy. This was near the small town of Meina.|
|I found a nice shady spot to pull in for "elevenses".|
|A family of ducks came by, licking their ducky little lips, wanting to share my snack.|
|This island is just north of the town of Stresa. A very pretty spot.|
|This is looking north at the town of Verbania, just by the fork in the lake.|
|I was going to ride to Verbania, but since most of the towns had not been too picturesque, I was easily diverted onto a cycle track, that headed off into a bird sanctuary in a big area of wetlands.|
|At the end of the track was a great place to stop for lunch. Nice and shady, good view and lots of birds.|
After the grandeur of the Maggiore and Orta lakes, Mergozzo lake and town were a little disappointing.
Leaving Mergozzo, I had to get past a range of mountains to get back to Orta. My heart sank when I saw the mountains in front, thinking I would be faced with a big climb. To my relief, there was an easy pass through the mountains, into the town of Omegna.
The town of Omegna, at the north end of Lake Orta, is prettier from a distance than up close.
The ride back down the shore to collect the car at the camp site was very pleasant. A nice finish to a great ride.
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