May 12-14

May 12th

We awoke in an Italian service station layby at about 8… a little tired but very happy for the fact we were just one train jump from Venice. Our guy had dropped us off on the outskirts of Milan, from where we took a train into the centre (10-2). The women on the train were stunning, & for the first time in my life I was forced to give a perfect ten. We proceeded to spend a couple of hours in the wide avenues of Milano’ me indulging in a little poetry while Bryn checked out the architecture. Then, after a swift Burger King, we hopped on a train to Venice (11-2). The journey skimmed the Alps, looming high upon our left, while to our right stretched the lowland plains to the sea.

On arrival at Venice Bryn tried to ring Linda, but she didn’t answer… has she bottled it? As a safety precaution he came with me to Finistra, where we put up the tent with a fine view across the sea to the island. Necking a bottle of vino we trundled into Venice (12-2), where Linda was waiting! She’s the boss of a million-per-year turnover sunglasses factory up in the mountains… & Bryn is her toyboy. She very kindly bought me a meal before I bid them ciao & fucked off… twos company! Back at the campsite I drank more wine & looked out to Venice. I’d been there back in 1998 & was just happy to know that somewhere amid those velvet streets (hopefully not in the streets), Bryn was getting laid (mission accomplished).

May 13th

Woke up early feelin’ fresh & funky. Breakfasted on chocolate milk & pastries by the waterside, admiring the splendor of distant Venice, a shimmering sea between us.  Bought a bottle of wine & idled a little while longer, skimming thro’ a biography of Lord Byron. Eventually I got going & hopped on a bus into the old city where the Grand Canal was still a wonder to sail upon on the unofficially free waterbuses. Composed a little to the splish-splosh of the sea & the beating of a serene sun. Hooked up with Bryn & Linda – he had a smile on his face – & we visited a facing island, which in stark contrast to the chaos of San Marco Square was a tranquil seat of serenity. The wine began to flow, & after Bryn returned from a museum with some interesting postcards of stairs, we jumped train back to the campsite – it was Linda’s first fade & she performed admirably.

My gigalo buddy changed his clothes & was whisked back to Venice to be wined & dined, while I spent the evening with some young Aussies. They roam Europa on busses with a firm called Buzzabout & were good fun – that was until, after a few bottles of wine, I brought up the fact they were descended from botty-boy convicts. The wine soon told for me so I’ll leave you with Bryn.

Bryn’s Box

Spent evening walking around close to San Marco’s, stunned by the beauty of Venice… it’s also nice to see Linda again. Fumbled our way to the hotel where there was later further fumblings. Had a meal with clams as they are supposed to be an aphrodisiac – they worked! We then hit a jazz bar for Hemmingway cocktails, after which I was pretty damn fucked. Met a man called Virgilio, a Salvador Dali lookalike. We then went dancin’ by the piazza Margarheta, downed more beers, had a few arguments & a lot more sex.

I’m goin’ back to Venice!

May 14th

Awoke to a couple of creamy lattes & some pastries. Spent the mornin’ readin’ & writin’ then packed up the tent just as Bryn returned from his Venetian porn adventures. We breathed in the city one last time then hopped down to Bologna (13-2). The city is a bit messy & we didn’t stay long, nipping further south to Firenze, i.e. Florence (14-2). These last two jumps have been the most difficult of the tour so far, especially the stench emanating from the bogs on the Boulogne-Florence train.

We arrived in the sultry Tuscan capital just as a warm rain was chuckin’ it down. We spent a funny couple of hours tryin’ to locate a suburban campsite… only for it to be closed. So we headed back into the city, past the epic gates & walls & into the fairy-tale streets that cluster at the foot of the absorbing Fiorentine hills. We strolled to a new site & blagged our way in a la Glasto (over the fence) & put up the tent. After a shower we hit the town for some much needed food & some much-more needed beers as proceeded to tour the centre. It remains one of the best places I have ever visited, the cut-out-&-glue-the-cardboard-flaps Duomo a wonder to behold, & it was in a very pleasant mood that we retired to our campsite.

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