It's been a week of more Lakes, the odd sneaky hotel and a deflated airbed! The mountains surrounding each lake get bigger the further east we go. Lake Como seemed less populated, but completely geared up for tourists. We spent Easter Day climbing up another 'Sacre Monte', with several Italian families. The shrines and their frescos and sculptures looked neglected, but the colours of the paint were really vivid when lit up by the camera flash.
The weather was somewhat wetter for a couple of days so we booked into a great B&B in a hillside village looking down over Lake Como. It even had heating …bliss! Moreno, the proprietor, was a great character and the other guests were international - Taiwanese & French.
We then wound our way east over another alpine pass complete with late season skiers and on to Lake Garda. The motorway from Trento down to the northern shores of the lake was one of the most stunning we've been on. The mountains surrounding this lake are seriously huge, beautiful yet foreboding. The road down the west side of the lake seemed to comprise of tunnel after tunnel (as used in the Bond movie 'Quatum of Solace') with very few villages; not that the narrow tunnels stopped some of the more intrepid tour bus drivers. We camped high above the lake on a terraced site with superb views. That was the night that the air bed slowly deflated until the inevitable happened and we ended up with our bums on the ground - a cold experience. Andy amazingly found the hole (bit of a case of a needle in a haystack) and the following two nights we were again suspended on air.
Following two days of great hiking with lemon groves and geckos aplenty, we moved on to Verona. This is a truly beautiful city with lots of architecture and art from the 11th to the 16th centuries (though one can get enough of 'Madonna con bambino' paintings after a while). Fran's feet are now killing her, but spirits are high as we endure a thunderstorm from the luxury of our bargain (laterooms.com) 4-star hotel room! Next stop Florence to meet up with Fran's Mum and Hilary, a family friend, who are flying out from the UK for a week's holiday with us.