Stage 10: Molinella to Ravenna

Distance: 61.7 km

Time: 3 hours 3 minutes

Speed: 20.2 km/h

Ascent: 118 metres

Total distance: 573.9 km

Total time: 29 hours 30 minutes

Wordle scores: Captain 5, Stoker 3

Word of the day: “vento” (ven-toe) – wind

The Stoker writes:

We had a simple dinner last night at the restaurant just over the road from our lodgings, and turned in early. We awoke this morning to find all of our freshly laundered kit waiting outside the door, which was nice! Well, all except one of my gloves, which had fallen into a shoe and not made it into the laundry bag. The lady must have thought that rather peculiar. We’d enjoyed our stay – it was quite a strange place, eclectically decorated with some very odd touches – one of the cupboards in our room was chock full of old handbags! But it was spacious and cool, and even had a bath, hurrah.

After the usual delicious bakery breakfast and a final fruitless attempt at taking a picture of the wonky tower that made it look anything but normal, we pedalled off into the fields. Our route today took us on a variety of little roads through the arable land. There’s barely an acre of this area that isn’t planted with some food crop or other. Today we were able to tick off beets in our I-Spy book of the Po valley, and there were also loads of dwarf sunflowers, only a couple of feet high but in full bloom, really attractive.

It seemed to be threshing day today, lots of dust and debris that could be seen from hundreds of metres away. How they could see through the windscreen I’m not sure!

We pushed on through the crops, our main challenge being a tough headwind. It was really weird, we both independently felt like we were having a bad legs day, because it was really hard work pedalling into the wind. It felt like we were going incredibly slowly, but then I’d look at Gilbert and realise that we were consistently doing over 20kph!

Mainly, we were doing this:

We stopped at Bagnacavallo (‘horse bath’!!!) for lunch, in a lovely little circular piazza. The very friendly head waiter was just opening up, and seemed used to sweaty cyclists arriving – he sat us straight down and brought cold fizzy water to quench our thirsts.

He told us that this weekend is the ‘Notte Rosa’ festival all along the coast in this region, where everyone wears pink and stays up until the small hours. There’s a concert tomorrow on the beach at Ravenna Mare, for example, in which an orchestra of cellos will perform ‘musica rock’!

We had a good lunch, not too big, despite the valiant efforts of the waitress to encourage us to order more, and set off for our final 20km into the wind. We both found it very hard, there was a lot of traffic (albeit all very well-behaved), and the pesky headwind.

As we neared Ravenna, our destination for a couple of nights, we rode through the usual zona industriale, and picked up a good cycle path, which then became very complicated to follow around the railway line. We made it, though, and rolled up to our lodgings almost on-time, to be welcomed by our host. It’s great, a small house with a little courtyard, where the tandem is currently resting, and where we can sit out with our wine later when the heat of the day has dissipated a little.

We’re here for two nights now – there’s quite a lot to see in Ravenna, Dante Alighieri is buried here and you can visit his house, which we’ll hopefully do tomorrow. For now, though, it’s just wonderful to be out of that wind!

Here’s today’s route and a short video

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