Day 10 Bellamonte to Lecco on Lake Como, Italy

Due to the poor weather forecast, we decided to take a more sensible, lower altitude route through the mountains on our way, eventually, to France, where we need to be in 3 day´s time. Our goal for the day was Lecco on Lake Como. We left in heavy cloud but we were lucky and it did not actually rain on us today. The Dolomites west of Trento are not anywhere near as beautiful as those in the east and the roads were much heavier with traffic so the riding was not as much fun for a large part of the day. The standard of driving was also pretty dodgy and we did not feel that safe at times.

We passed through quite a lot of ski resorts which, although having a backdrop of snowy mountains, were pretty ugly. One even had blocks of flats built on the outskirts, like a council estate in the UK.

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We rode for about 5 hours with only a couple of quick stops and were pretty tired when we arrived in Lecco. We generally dislike lowland campsites in touristy areas. They are usually too hot and crowded and this one was no exception. We were directed to a space underneath the huge road bridge that crosses the lake and right up against the low boundary fence. Hardly paradise.This did not feel secure and we had local people walking and jogging past all evening, some who, to our tired selves, looked quite dodgy. At the front of the site,there were lovely pitches looking right across the lake and kiddies were swimming in the clear water. Lake Como seems quieter than Lake Garda but does not have the glamour and that real Italian feel that you get in Garda.

We felt pretty exhausted for some reason and a bit down in the mouth so we visited the bar before cooking dinner. A few bottles of Peroni and some Pringles soon sorted us out. After a chickpea curry and some more beer, we were pretty cheerful. No chance of an early night though. Unlike in most countries, the Italian kids stay up until about midnight and there was a lot of noise generally. We locked up everything to be sure it did not go missing, courtesy of people hopping over the fence and helping themselves.

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The next morning the campsite seemed a lot quieter and more benign and the people more friendly. Helen has a theory that the Italians get more animated during the day as their caffeine levels peak. The mornings are just more relaxed.

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