Once again, our morning started out with us motoring to a landing about an hour away. The crew is quite fast with getting the Vita Pugna ready to leave the dock.
While we were being shuttled via the barge, we ate breakfast and got ready for today’s ride. The distance wasn’t as far as the previous days – about 26 miles.
A good portion of the trip was navigating the Po Delta. Two other rivers flow into the delta at some point, which meant we saw a lot of water today.
We started out on a two-rut path along the levee…
…and eventually got onto more paved roads.
A bit further along, Elena stopped again and we went up to the top of a levee where there was obviously some large fishing type shacks/lots of nets. She explained that mussel fishing is a very large industry there. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a clear picture to take, but the grassy area we were standing in was full of giant snails.
A bit further along, a different overlook:
This area was not conducive to taking pictures on the fly since the park roads were often a bit lower than the dykes/levees and I’m short!
Next came what we all look forward to each day- our “coffee” break. (For me it is a diet-coke break!)
The restaurant’s decor was very rustic and “knights in shining armor”.
We emerged from the park and were riding through more farmland, but there was definitely more water in the area.
This road sign covers a lot of possibilities.
We’re going over this bridge –
This bike route arrives in Venice from the Southwest. We entered the outskirts of Chioggia -known as Little Venice because it also was built on islands. At first there was some seat-of-the-pants maneuvering through a very busy city area and then suddenly we were riding along a picturesque waterfront pathway and seeing a great view.
Chioggia is located on the South end of the Venetian Lagoon. By land it would be about 30 miles from Venice, but it is also a jumping off point for the barrier islands that help separate the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. This map we were shown on the barge gives a better idea of what I’m talking about -except it is sideways. Venice is essentially North of Chioggia.
We went past an ancient gate and rode to the harbor along a street lined with restaurants and gift shops.
There, at the ferry landing we bought our passes for the ferry we’d need the next day and the vaporettos (water taxies) while in Venice. We had an hour or so before we had to rendezvous with the Vita Pugna, so we walked around the area of the piazza.
This pretty bridge crossed a narrow canal -so we went up and over and walked along the canal a short way. We circled back to the “main drag” and looked for a place to get a cool drink.
Most of the restaurants seemed to be closed for the afternoon. We were told that they’d be open again after 5 PM -too late for us. We found an open gelato shop and I had a divine little serving of chocolate gelato. We were able to buy diet-Cokes there too,
When we rejoined the group, we had to ride about 5 minutes away to find the barge. We went down a couple of roads and rode straight into the gates of a fish market. As we went down the side of it, we could see fishing boats docked. We kept going down the side of the docks until we reached the water’s edge and there was the Vita Pugna waiting for us. It wasn’t the prettiest departure point, but we got the job done.
We departed Chioggia and crossed to the island of Pellestrina. Pellestrina is a very narrow island. It is around 70 feet wide at its narrowest and not quite a mile at its widest.
We were moored on the lagoon side, but it turns out that a wall we could easily see “over there” (which was actually the other side of the island) hid a narrow beach on the Adriatic Sea from view.
Not only were we moored next to a very large mausoleum, there was a “buoy graveyard” next to it.
We were informed that we needed to conserve water at this stop because there wasn’t a water hookup at this mooring. Several of us (me perhaps?) looked rather scruffy that evening at dinner. HAH.
I haven’t mentioned much about the other 18 people on this “adventure” so far (it is only a d’aventure for me and Mike) because, as I assured them… They didn’t go on this trip to be blogged about. However, I do want to mention that we were extremely happy that this group was so friendly and interested in getting to know each other.
We had another great dinner to end our day. We sat with a couple who were genuinely interesting to talk to and very nice people in general…so it was a pleasant evening and before we knew it, it was time to settle down for the night.
Other than a group of 4 friends who never split up at meals, we shared a table at dinner or breakfast with everyone on the trip at one time or another. This was a great group of people who came from all walks of life and shared a joy of biking. One or two only found their joy a couple of days into the trip when they switched from regular bikes to E-bikes though!
We are moored along a seawall and it seems as if we’re next to a ferry/vaporetto/boat-of-any-kind super highway. Every time a vessel passes, the Vita Pugna starts rocking and rolling for a short time…before settling down…until the next boat goes by! I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a no-wake zone here. It was going to be a rock-a-bye-baby night for sure.