Mantova • Campo Canoa
7-9 giugno 2024

Mantova • Campo Canoa
7-9 giugno 2024

No Borders, Andrea Campa’s journey

mercoledì, 1 Dicembre, 2021

My name is Andrea, I am 37 years old, I work in the GDO and I am a super social animal.
I like crowds, parties, hugs and long chats.
But … when I travel my favorite dimension is the solo one.

Because traveling for me is first and foremost discovery and exploration.
Because I do not like compromises and compromises with ourselves do not have sense of existing.
Because I like to take liberties that you can only take on your own.

Over the years I have traveled alone on buses, trains, on foot and finally I decide to tackle my first bike trip with one goal: to succeed.
I am not very trained apart from some rides in the area, I have never tried to run so many kilometers with such a loaded bike, and even my modest vehicle creates some concern, but with the help of a friend I drew a trace of approximately 750 km between Friuli, Slovenia and Croatia and I do the hardest thing: I load the bike on the train and I leave.

Train Padua – Gorizia, and the real journey begins from the station square.
1 km later I already stopped in the town square to arrange the luggage which, thanks to my inexperience, is not very stable and gives me problems: I re-distribute the weights in a more reasoned way and I slip into the wonderful Isonzo valley.

The first stage is terrible. Too many unexpected events, too much climbing, too much effort, I want to cry and would like to go home. But how do I justify it with all friends and family members with whom I had shared my itinerary in the previous days?
I try to shift the attention 1 km after the other further ahead and I arrive exhausted at the camping where I decided to stay for the convenience of a hot shower and an electrical outlet where you can recharge everything.

Fortunately, from the second day onwards, the legs and head start spinning and slowly I begin to enjoy every meter that runs under the wheels. And Slovenia is the paradise for this: very green, beautiful cycle paths, careful motorists.
I briefly re-border in Italy and from Tarvisio I swoop down towards the Bled lakes and Bohinji, emeralds and fairy tales, cursing uphill and screaming like a fool in the descents.
Then Ljubljana, the capital, with its friendly atmosphere, and again towards the mountains.

I begin to feel the taste of my routine: mount everything on the bike, pedal, observe, pedal, reassemble everything, beer, sleep, start over.
Traveling alone, especially by bicycle (or on foot), also means being seen and being  welcomed like heroes (heroes for doing what?), making beautiful friendships that last 5 minutes, drinking beers offered by strangers and receiving admiring glances mixed with compassion. If there is one thing that I have confirmed in all my experiences in solo traveling is the newfound trust in people: oh, it’s full of beautiful people out there.

I crossed the Slovenia – Italy border again for a day in the Colli Friulani Orientali area and its delicious wines (hic!) And then down to Trieste. Despite the busiest road of the whole trip, the views from the coast towards the gulf of Trieste really makes me excited. I just have to celebrate with a takeaway spritz lying on the Molo Audace.

The next 2 days lead me to retrace the famous Parenzana cycle path (Istria – Croatia) which follows the route of an old railway, very beautiful but a little too demanding for my 32mm, even if the effort is rewarded by a postcard sunset on the deserted October beaches of Poreč.

I slept near lakes, mountains, the sea, and cities. Wonderful.

It’s time to go back under the flood (only rain on 9 days of travelling) to the north of Trieste, where my goal to make is accomplished. And I made it.

My cycling friends will say “ah but this journey I could make it wheeling and blindfolded”, my non-cyclist friends will say “but you are a fool, a hero”.

I just say that if I made it myself, with a little of organization and tenacity, probably anyone can do it.
It’s enough to overcome the very first obstacle: to start.

And it is since I got back that I think about when I will leave next.

October 2021