I try to relax my body to absorb the bumps, but the perching-clinging-planting don’t help, on the contrary, at the end of the day my shoulders are sore, my back is in pain and my knees hurt.
Since experience makes one wiser, the next days I’ll modify my passenger posture a little: hunchback as Quasimodo to loosen my back, neck stretched forward as a turtle with head constantly turned to the left as an owl so that my helmet doesn’t bump against Pietro’s.
Halfway through the route we stop for lunch at the seashore where the organizers set up a gazebo with benches and tables: the menu includes oysters and roasted fish.
We reach our destination at about 5 pm, after passing through a splendid pine grove on the beach that is also the parking lot of the Corte Rosada hotel of Alghero, a magnificent shelter for an aching body.
When I get off the bike I walk like the tin man of the Wizard of Oz, stiffly with my knees locked and when I reach the stairs I turn into an old sloth: I think it takes me about ten minutes to walk one flight.
Before the evening briefing and dinner, we visit Alghero which turns out to be a little jewel.
The Alghero-Arbatax section of the following day is the longest. The departure is fixed for 9 am. Inexplicably, we can’t find the day’s track on the GPS, so we ask another participant to share it with us wirelessly. It’s time to leave but we only downloaded 50% of the track and this forces us to join the paved road group, for which I’m really grateful!
It’s cloudy, every now and then the sun comes out, the temperature is perfect for us riders but what really stays with me is the spectacular landscape offered by the panoramic route along the coast.
Around 2 pm we arrive with the sun on the shore of an artificial lake where lunch has been arranged; today’s menu also includes meat and local pastries. We eventually download the whole track: we will ride off-road this afternoon. The track follows an abandoned little road overgrown with weeds and shrubs, that runs along a precipice where the guardrail is only sometimes present; the road becomes a path with herds of goats grazing along the hillside and in the middle of the path. As a passenger, I must say that this is the off-road I prefer, because the ground is rugged and bumpy but not as the previous day.
We reach the Club Saraceno Hotel in Arbatax and after we park our motorcycles, a golf cart takes us to the hotel located near the beach of the close by cove. We also get to see a school of dolphins playing a few feet from the shore.
During the pre-dinner briefing, the organizers inform us that the following day it will rain the whole day and that we can chose to go directly to Golfo Aranci along the main road without following the prepared tracks. Since I do not have the full waterproof gear and considering that rain is forecast even for our return trip, I decide to ride in one of the organizers’ car to Golfo Aranci. A guy and a lady join me for the same reasons. Pietro, instead, is one of the few daredevils who chose the off-road track, free to ride without “dead weight” at last!
Given the situation, the organizers book some hotel rooms in Golfo Aranci where to relax until the time to embark arrives (8 pm).
We arrive in Livorno the following morning at 7 am with pouring rain. As said, I don’t have the full waterproof gear, so I make a pair of overshoes from a garbage bag to keep the lower part of my legs dry.