Unfortunately the Youth Hostel did not have a cafeteria and so Heather and I had to find someway local to eat - no problem though only the language. We started hitching at 10am and the first lift drove us 16 miles to Roverto and after a two hour wait, the next lift drove us 7Km further down the road but left us away from the town. Only one car stopped but it was too small to cope with our rucksacks. Eventually a lift to Verona and it was 3pm - 5 hours for 60 miles was not what you call very good progress. Unfortunately we were left on the wrong side of Verona and all of the cars which stopped were going to either Milan or Brescia - west of our target destination. At 5pm we decided to walk 10Km across town to get to a more conducive spot near the Autobahn heading South. Alas from this spot every single car was heading to Milan. Although Florence was only 2 hours away, we seemed to have no choice but to change direction or of course find the local YH. It was now 7pm - 9 hours for 60 miles ! - but still the scenery had been interesting with many vineyards, the mountains and a nice winding road - it was just a shame that we had only managed 2 lifts. We decided to accept the offer from whatever car stopped and so we walked further along the road to get closer to the toll gate. Our lucky car was a Porsche and it was heading to Milan - so good news and bad news. The driver was Italian and we had to converse in broken French. He seemed very frustrated and impatient but kind. He drove the car extremely fast but in a controlled way - it was exciting. We stopped en route for a coffee which the driver bought for us. He did not seem to like the idea of us staying at the Milan Youth Hostel and decided that he would pay for us to stay in a hotel in Varese, a lakeside small town near Milan and would pick us up in the morning and take us to Florence - fantastic,lucky us.
We arrived at the very smart hotel at 9pm although it was clear that the reception clerk was very uncomfortable with our scruffy clothes and rucksacks. However brilliant for us with comfortable beds and a nice hot shower.
Cannot wait for tomorrow for another exciting ride.
Travelled overland to Australia in 1972 taking 4 months and after 20 months in Australia travelled back through Indonesia taking 3 months. I have read and admired lots of blogs on this website and have decided to add my diary from my first travels. I will endeavour to update my pages in line with the 1972 dates. Unfortunately my films from London to Kabul were lost in the post and therefore I cannot add my own photographs until later in the journey! The first ten days were spent travelling through Germany and some days were staying with student friends hence they are less challenging (and mayb... full info