Finito. Done and dusted and time to celebrate (Vincenza to Mestre- 68 km, 50 m)

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The final day arrived far too soon. I felt somewhat melancholic and had mixed emotions. Pleased that the goal was now within my reach and I was basically intact with the exception of some very painful bruises on my knees. However I was a bit sad too as I don’t do farewells very well. I hate saying goodbye to friends from far flung places.

By necessity it was going to be a busy traffic day. That cannot be avoided when travelling from one big city to another. Italian drivers are a bit crazy too, particularly on roundabouts. You need to be brave and own the lane in the hope they will not try and squeeze you out or cut you off. Notwithstanding that, numerous did cut in front so you need to have your wits about you and be very alert.

Rain threatened at the half way mark so we stopped and had a cappuccino at a little cafe in a little village. We were made very welcome there and became somewhat of a fascination to other patrons who asked about our trip.

Steve and Neil shot past us shortly thereafter and we sat behind them until the hotel in Mestre ( saved us navigating)!

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Bevis, Steve, Neil and myself just after finishing our epic trip

There were congratulatory hugs all around and we waited for each rider to turn up and took their photo. Then it was upstairs to the mezzanine level to share in champagne and croissants courtesy of Bike Adventures.

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Some of the bikes waiting to be packed up to go to their respective homes

Then it was necessary to strip down the bikes and pack them for their next journey to Florence on Monday morning where we will have a three day ” post script” ride, self supported.

In the evening we travelled with Bevis, Willemijn, Il Papa Gibson, Hoss and ‘Efty onto Venice Island for a celebratory dinner. First view of Venice as we departed St Lucia station.

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Great food and company topped off by the waiter plying us with FOC home made liquor ( x 2 each). OMG it was very strong!!

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Tony and ‘Efty

Feeling a bit “heady” we then had fun and games getting back to St Lucia station for the trip back to Mestre.

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Il Papa making new friends on the train.

So folks, that is it for a few days. We head to Florence on Monday by train and on Tuesday start a three day ride, this time on our own, carrying our own gear around  the Tuscan hills.

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