Chapter Four: Camping Ciampino & Roaming Rome / 13.01.13

 

After Florence, we took a train to Rome. The whole way I stared out the window and remarked at all the fabulous possible campsites that scattered the area along the tracks. We arrived to Rome in the evening, and left Rome an hour later for the outskirts of the city to find a place to camp for the night. Due to darkness and exhaustion we got off the train at the wrong station, getting Devin and his bike stuck in the train door in the process. After prying his bike free with the help of a few concerned train-riders, we discovered that we had no idea where we were, and even less of a clue where to go. Perfect.

We walked along a busy street for awhile in darkness until buildings became a rare sight, and cars no longer crowded the roads. A broken rusty fence looked like a golden gate leading to an empty grassy lot  which acted as a luxury mansion for two- our home for the next week. We set up the tent in the dark, and snuggled in for a night of trespassing on someones abandoned land that just happened to be the answer to our prayers.

We settled into a rhythm in our short term abode in Ciampino. Waking up with the sun, sneaking out of our hiding space to grab a cappuccino at the cafe down the street, and then sneaking back through the fence to make dinner in our tiny kitchen of trees and shrubs. Most days were sunny, but for a few days it stormed and the wind molded our tent into awkward shapes as the rain made our belongings soggy. We were worn out and decided to get a hotel for a couple nights in Rome to enjoy the city and get out of the rain. The room was cozy and clean, MTV was free, and I took about ten hot showers in a matter of two days- but nothing in the world could top the decadent complimentary breakfast buffet each morning where Devin and I overstayed our welcome by a couple hours at least.

Rome was beautiful and old- overwhelming really, for two weary cyclists with abundant luggage and no money. We were relieved to pack our bikes and fly to Greece where the pace slowed and our friend Gael had an apartment waiting for our arrival.


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