Day 10 - Rome and Castel Gandolfo
Starting point: Orvieto
Destination: Castel Gandolfo
Distance: 200 km
The day before I had asked Andrea, if he could accompany me till the beginning of asphalt road for two reasons. One reason was that in case I fell off my Harley, I would have someone who could help me lift it. The second reason was the narrow rocky off-road, and if someone would have come from the other direction, I would have had no place to maneuver. Everything went fine, until the motorcycle slid sideways. Even though the Harley touched the ground, I managed to lift it up, and after a quick check I got back to the road and happily arrived at the asphalt road. I was really proud of myself :).
Heavy rainy clouds appeared above my head and, until Rome, the travel wasn't so spectacular. I stopped at a large petrol station, exchanged a few thoughts with other bikers who informed me that in this area, rain was not a surprise. I put on waterproof gear to avoid another stop if the rain would eventually have arrived. And in fact, it did, several km further away. My original plan was to stop at Monte Cassino, and light a candle at The Polish Cemetery that holds the graves of over a thousand Poles who died during the Battle of Monte Cassino, in May 1944. I wanted to drive to the top of the hairpin bend zigzag road, but the rain clouds above the mountain prevented me from doing so. Looking at the mountain from a distance, I struggled with myself, and finally decided that it would be better to spend more time in Rome instead.
It might sound ridiculous for people who love Rome, but I did the city sightseeing from the saddle of my Harley for about four hours. I didn't enter either a museum or a church, and I was not concerned about it. In a city like Rome, one can spend several days and still not see everything that it offers. At the beginning of the Trip, I had to make a choice. And I made it. I wanted to see more of the countryside. The Cities and Towns I could explore within one or two hours.
At 5:00 pm, I received a message from my next host that I had to be at Castel Gandolfo, my next accommodation, an hour from Rome, by 7:00 pm. "What? Why?" was my first reaction. That was not a requirement, when I had booked the place. I sent a message back with the information that it would not be possible for me to arrive so early, because I was visiting the city. "You have to be here latest by 7:30 pm, otherwise no one would be at home until 11:00 pm", was my Host's response.
It was still bright outside, and even though the weather wasn't great, I was excited to drive around Rome. I was not staying there for several days, so I could not afford a break off my, already short, visit.
I had no choice. I had already paid and the host did not even consider paying back. I decided that I would leave the city around 8:30 pm, and wait for the host till 11:00 pm at the entrance. "Maybe she had an emergency situation", I thought.
I showed up at the Entrance of the property around 9:30 pm. I left my Harley at the gate, entered the property through a side entry, sat on a chair in the garden. And waited. The house was in a narrow street, not far from Lago Albano. It was already dark, and therefore I took out a notebook and started making plans for the next day. At some point, a small cat came to me and occupied rest of my time completely. It was already 11:00 pm, and despite a dog, the cat and me, no one was there. At 11:20 pm, I wrote to my host that I was still waiting to get in to the room. My host replied: "Most probably, you are at the wrong house." (Wtf! Seriously !?!). I was trying to stay calm. My Harley was at the entry, so there was no chance she could have missed it. She had to know that I was at the property since I sent her a message at 10:00 pm with the information that I was waiting in her garden. As it turned out, behind the gate were three houses with orchards between each of them. She came to pick me up from the first house, not far from the entry gate. No apologies, no explanation, just an order that I should follow her. She opened the gate so I could drive in, and her first comment was "How can you travel on this? It is so loud." I was still calm. I looked at her with my thoughts focused on one thing "A few minutes more and I will be in a bed, and without hearing the voice of this stupid woman, I could go to sleep."
The other visitors were sitting by a large table deliberating about something. My host asked for my documents without manners, commenting this or that. I was still calm. The small cat liked me, so he followed me from another house cheering me up with his loud purring. The lady asked if would like a glass of water. I gladly accepted the offer, but I never received that water.
I unpacked the motorcycle, refreshed myself and with the cat laying across and warming my neck, went to sleep.