We left our lost little campground by 9:30 am. Early in the day I suffered my first tire puncture. The day was … along the beach. I kept asking Rob if he missed the mountains yet. He kept responding, “No.”


We stopped for lunch near a castle/estate. Across the road was a large nature park. Where they raise mosquitoes. Lunch was VERY short.

From there we merged back with the main highway until arriving in Pisa. Cycling the twisty streets was tricky, but Rob guided us to our hostel (the aptly named Pisa Hostel). After unpacking, Rob and I headed out to look at a castle we’d passed on the way in, now little more than tattered walls. Rob decided to return to the hostel, but I surged forth, seeking a cathedral dome I’d seen on the ride in.


Returning to the dome, I realized I’d found the leaning Tower of Pisa! Knowing Rob and I will return there tomorrow, I only visited the cathedral before returning to the hostel. I refused to join the throng of people taking photos of them trying to push the Tower back up.


While a day behind what I loosely call a schedule, we’ve decided on a rest day here in Pisa tomorrow. We’ve had five days of cycling, much of that Rob’s first experience with mountains. Weather forecasts for the weekend might mean we adjust by a day off the end of the trip and take a train the last bit into Rome. I wasn’t looking forward to cycling into Rome anyway.

As Rob rests in our room, I’m down in the common area of the hostel. Ten tables, each with a single person on their mobile device. Including me. Mobile kills hosteling. It makes me a curmudgeon that I long for the days that the people wanted to talk with each other. That’d be a tough trade for GPS and HostelWorld however.

For a youth hostel, the soundtrack is 80s music. The soundtrack is amazing. Let’s hear it for the boy!