January 15-18
Off on the trains again. So the plan was to get to Albania and catch the next ferry (they go every week) so I didn’t have time to spend anywhere on the way – maybe on the way back…
To Pisa, via Genoa and La Spezia. Stayed at a cheap hotel and off early to catch the train to Ancona via Florence and Faeza. Booked into another cheap hotel. All going according to plan.  But not for long. Here is a timeline of the events as theu unfolded over the next few days.

Sunday 15 – booked in for two nights at cheap hotel ready for Ferry on Tuesday evening. 110 Euros. 

Monday 16 – wandered around waiting for tomorrow.

Tuesday 17 –  Got to the check-in early to be told that the ferry had been cancelled due to bad weather. The photo below shows the bad weather and I think the captain might have been right! I was asked it I’d like to go on the rearranged ship on Thursday, so I said yes. Where should I stay for the extra two nights? I made the really bad decision to try an airbnb on a yacht nearby. I paid cash – 80 Euros for the two nights. Getting on board coincided with the most extreme hailstone squall that I’ve ever encountered. I nearly lost the bike in the sea trying to get it on board using the rickety gangway. Totally soaked and very cold. In fact, on board, the only dry place was the ‘bedroom’. After about half an hour, I realised just how impossible it was going to be to stay there for two nights and days so, giving up the eighty quid, I packed up and, with difficulty, headed back to the old cheap hotel where I booked in for the next two nights. 

Wednesday 18: with no need to get up early, I didn’t. Had a wander around until mid afternoon when I got a phone call from the Ferry company saying that the ferry was leaving today. I asked when? They said, NOW. I will not describe the difficulty I had getting to the ship via check-in and passport control, it would take too long, but I got there and tied the bike up along with what seemed like hundreds of huge trucks. In the space of three days I missed three lots of paid-for accommodation.
Of course, the ferry was late to leave and, due to bad weather, took longer to get across – eighteen hours in fact. Overnight. Coke Cola and mars bars for sustenance, along with a large piece of cheese I found in my rucksack, for which I was grateful.