Chased out of a field by a farmer…

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…is not an ideal way to start the weekend, but that’s pretty well what happened at 6:30am this morning.

Wayne and I thought we had found the perfect spot to pitch our tents late last night. Like the SAS in every way, except in fancy dress and on bikes, we crept into the middle of a gigantic vineyard (in the first below) under cover of darkness round 10pm. The alarm was set for 6am for the following morning. The idea is that you arrive so┬álate and leave so early so that people don’t even know that you have been and gone. Just like the SAS.

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Turns out that a 6am wake up call was not early enough for one particular South Tyrolian farmer and around 6:05am I shouted across to Wayne’s tent “Mate, I’m sure I can hear a tractor in this field. We better pack up and get out of here quick!

I’ve got to say I’ve never packed away my bags and tent so quickly as there was indeed a farmer going up and down the rows of grapes spraying his crops incredibly close to us. There must have been hundreds of rows of vines in this vineyard. We just got seriously unlucky that he had decided to work on the section near us that early in the morning. I’m pretty sure the farmer saw us despite our pathetic efforts to hind behind his vines when he got close. To cut a long story short, we got a bit of a fright and got out of the field without having to deal with an irate farmer feeling HUGELY relieved.

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80km of flat and very hot cycling later and we’ve arrived in Lake Garda. Cooled off with a dip along with half the population of Italy, Germany and a friendly family from Burton-on-Trent.

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For 37 points, can you spot “Where’s SCM?” in the lake shot? For a bonus 2154 points, “Where’s Wayne?”

We’ve got to find another wild camp spot near Lake Garda tonight before moving south towards Parma and in the next few days Pisa and Venice. We might stay clear of sleeping in any vineyards though.

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