Jane: Who has ever heard of Lucca? I hadn't, maybe it's just me but this has been a real surprise. What an amazing little town - renaissance walled city in great condition. So pretty. This photo was taken from a tower in the middle of town (that has trees growing on the top, as you do..) looking down on a Roman amphitheatre and out to the surrounding hills. We've spent a few days here now, just dossing around looking at things and taking a rest. We arrived here on Saturday along with the rest of the tourist population of the world and there was no room at the inn. The weather turned cold and wet and my wet feet from earlier in the day started to be an issue. We finally found a little room that felt like complete luxury, mainly because it had an internal bathroom - we're quite easily pleased.
We had a very funny time leaving the Cinque Terre (I didn't think it was funny at the time, but time is wonderful healer..). We decided as we'd walked the length of it, we could catch a train to the end, being La Spezia. So we trawled our stuff up and down stairs at the train station and waited patiently for the train. We let the first one go past as the conductor said no bikes. The second one we couldn't get the door to the bike compartment open and there was no conductor, the third one had the bike compartment at the front. So the fourth one we said stuff it we'll just pile on anywhere and it ended up being a short train so we had to run with bikes and panniers about 50m (we dropped the tent but were told so by some nice men who also helped us get our gear on the train). After all that we could have ridden the distance in less time and with less heart ache!
On the way to Lucca we camped with the Dutch. These things seem to be delineated, the Germans stayed in Levanto and the Dutch were at this one. All very comfy camping with pools (not yet open as it's not warm enough), pizzerias, shops, Internet points - anything a grey nomad could desire! Not that we're grey nomads.... but there's lots here - almost as many as we encountered riding around WA.