Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 1 - Milan to Levanto

We woke up early as at 9:30 we should meet with Steve, Bo and Joy at Mototouring (place where they rented the bikes). Breakfast was good. In general the actual hotel experience in Milan was good apart from very expensive parking (20 Euros/night). It was very tempting to leave the bike outside but in the end decided to be cautious.

It was good to see the 3 friends from USA and watch as they prepared the bikes (put on luggage, GPS, spot etc). They were very excited but also a bit apprehensive as this was the first day riding in Italy.

After about one hour, bikes were ready and we went past our hotel to load our luggage and at 11:15 or so we were ready to leave for our adventure.

The first ride to hotel from Mototouring was interesting and Steve comment's says it all "You need to ride like you mean it. Imagine you are in New York". Italian drivers are indeed quite aggressive and if you give them a finger they will take your all hand ... solution take their fingers !

It took us about 30-45 minutes to leave Milano and we got a lot of training on what to do and how to drive in Italy. As in France the scooters are quite aggressive although I must say I found the Parisians crazier. But I hear Rome is tough too.

As we were leaving Milan, I noticed I needed gas so signaled to Bo who is leading the ride that I would go ahead and fill in. As I accelerated the revs went up but speed did not match and Paula said "it smells like something is burning". And something was ... The Clutch.

After putting gas and eating and specially drinking as it was very hot, we left the gas station and I started testing if clutch would come back or if it was shot for good. Unfortunately did not like the feel of it and later the BMW mechanic would say "E' Morta" ("It is dead") and would give a cross sign.

So we separated from Bo and Steve which went on to Levanto and we went into the city of Genova where we found a BMW Motorrad accredited shop, "Panfili" and met its owner Massimo Panfili who will try to get the spare part tomorrow, work on it overnight and get the bike to us on Wednesday so we may continue in our adventure. They also seem to be the home for the BMW Motorrad Club of Genova and they offered me a sticker that is already in the bike and a t-shirt which I will collect when I get bike.
In the meantime spoke with Steve and they got fine back to their hotel.

As we had evening in Genova, we went out for dinner and stopped in an "American Bar" and sat and drank something while they brought us "included in the price" snacks, which were great. After all was done it cost us 20E and included tip. It was very good value for money.

In Genova we are staying in this interesting old hotel.
We also took te opportunity to walk and visit the centre of Genova, had another sit down for dessert and fruit and as it was getting darker and less people on the street we came back to hotel. It is still quite hot in Italy and as we have been staying in cities it is quite difficult as establishments do not seem to have air con.

Tomorrow is an important day as hopefully the spare part arrives and Massimo can get to work ...
Click HERE to see all the pictures for Day 1


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