While the border crossings aren’t obvious one thing that does change is fuel prices so doing some research we knew that Italy was more expensive than Austria, so before we crossed the border we made one last fill up at €1.129 per litre.  The first petrol station in Italy had a price of €1.459 so that’s quite some difference – of course it’s still cheaper than the UK but it’s good to save money where we can (and spend it on ice cream somewhere else).

We’ve been to Lake Garda twice before, the first time was for our very first holiday together way back in 2002 and we stayed at Bardolino and the second time was only last year on a day trip from Verona.

Having been on the move constantly for the last few weeks we decided to stay at least 2 nights in the area and found the Riva Del Garda Sosta at the north end of the lake.  This was just €.50 per hour and had full services.  It was busy but not packed so we got a nice spot with a bit of grass for sitting out on.  First thing to do after a day of tobogganing and driving in hot weather was to get ourselves into the lovely cooling lake so we headed off for a swim.

I find it very strange to go swimming in a freshwater lake with ducks and swans around me, I was brought up swimming in the sea and this holiday is the first time I’ve been swimming in any freshwater lake.  Of course when I was younger I studied Mr Darcy (aka Colin Firth) swimming in the lake in the BBC Pride and Prejudice so I thought it would be a bit murky like that, but all the lakes so far have been crystal clear.

The next day we did a lovely cycle ride along the side of the lake and then up towards Arco a little, cycling about 10km in all, followed in the evening by Aperol Spritz in the local square which had the obligatory helicopter toy things shooting up in the air every few seconds.

We packed up and headed down to the south end of the lake then and found the Sosta in Peschiera del Garda which was €1.50 per 3 hours and in a nice spot at the top of the hill.

We did also go swimming here but there was a lot of silt and weed in the water and it was very shallow so after a quick dip we dried off and headed into the village centre.

That afternoon we spotted a little barber shop and as Steven’s hair has grown rather a lot since we’ve been away he decided to go for an Italian haircut.  Of course there was the worry of whether he could describe what he wanted but luckily the lady spoke some English and 20 mins later he was sporting a very fine haircut indeed.

Next morning I headed off to a launderette we’d spotted the previous day for a catch up on the washing while Steven made use of the Sosta WiFi and did some work.  Balancing rather a lot of bedding & clothing on a bike might have been an issue if I hadn’t have come up with the old fashioned “wrap it in the duvet & tie it on the back” technique which worked very nicely!