It was an outstandingly serene morning by the bank of Metauro River. Some few bundles of sun-rays were finding their way through the dense poplar foliages and were cast upon the slow-flowing river. For this reason, probably, the river waters appeared to be much cleaner than the previous evening. So that, looking closely and vertically at them, you could discern the river’s bottom. And looking at them from a certain angle, you could see the immaculately blue sky and the poplars on the opposite bank reflected as in a fair mirror.
We had coffee and breakfast lazily, and, a while later, all our belongings were loaded on the bikes. We crossed the same dirt road through the wide, yellow field with the old, abandoned farmhouse standing in its middle we’d crossed the previous evening to get there, and we were back on track.
This was the hardest day we’ve had since the beginning of the trip. Soon after we started pedaling, we encountered a dreadful hill, our road ascending straight up to its top. There was standing the village of Sant’ Ippolito. A thermometer sign on the village’s main road informed us of the temperature having escalated to 37 Celcius plus. And it wasn’t even noon yet.
We descended the hill from the other side and reached the Isola di Fano village located by its foot. Then, the road started right away ascending the next hill, which was taller and steeper than the previous one, almost a mountain. It took several hours of pushing the bikes uphill through the violent heat. Sometime in the afternoon, we finally reached the hill’s purview, between the villages of Montevecchio and Monterolo. We stopped by the side of the road, at a nice spot with a great view to Monte Cucco, and had our lunch and the so deserved rest.
The day’s toil was over. We rolled down the hill till we reached the road moving be the north bank of Cesano River. We soon after were in Pergola town. The plan was to get food from there and continue a bit further to find a nice spot and stop for the day. But no! Luck was not allied to us. We coincided with some local public feast. We found all the roads empty and all the shops hermetically shut. Having searched thoroughly all around the town, the only thing we found open was a cafe at the town’s main square. There would not be any other center of civilization for the rest of our way this day. And, having not enough food, we had to content ourselves with a couple of panini and some chips from there.
Accompanied by the curious yet void glares of the town’s elders who were accumulated there, we mounted our bikes and left Pergola in search of this night’s shelter. We went past a sulfur factory and started going along the road passing through the narrow gorge which tears those small mountains south of pergola apart. There was some serious lack of space over there, as all the terrain off the road was very inclined and densely vegetated. So we had to continue until the other exit of the gorge. But there we finally found an ideal spot up to an open grassy slope, between some tall cypresses, and opposite to a breath-taking view of Mount Cucco, to pitch the tent. That coincided very closely with darkness’ advent. It was time to rest.