Marina di Ragusa: Bicycle, Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bicycle...
Saturday 8th September was the end of summer festival in Marina di Ragusa (see last years blog “Marina di Ragusa: Arrivederci Estate” for photo of fireworks and street stalls etc…imagine much the same this year!)
Marina di Ragusa is a cyclists paradise, with the long, wide flat promenade along the sea front. We had a cheap folding bike we bought last year which needed some work on it. As we only had one bike between the two of us we had been thinking of getting another bike. On Saturday we made the decision to treat ourselves to two (cheapish) new bikes from the local supermarket (€ 140 each). Unfortunately they weren’t (deliberately) set up so we had to wheel them back to the marina. Sunday was bike day; we put together the new bikes, along with cleaning the old bike which we then sold to someone in the marina.
Our new bikes created quite a lot of interest. Tim, our neighbour decided to go looking for bikes in Ragusa. Stephen tagged along to get a free trip to the DIY store. Later in the day we realised one of the bikes was faulty and so we walked it back up the hill to the supermarket to return it. We then borrowed Tim’s car and went to get Anne a new bike from the supermarket in Ragusa. It was a much nicer bike and cheaper. It took us a while to figure out how to fit the bike in the car, however years of playing Tetris proved useful and Anne avoided cycling all the way back to the marina J
On Tuesday we decided it was time to get back onto our boat jobs and we started giving the steps a “quick” sand. Three long days later they were sanded. Peace then returned to the marina. It’s fair to say the old varnish was a real pain to remove and our trusty Fein sander was brilliant.
The sanded steps
During the week we also emptied the sail locker to give it an air and to store some old sails in the marinas store room. We also had the usual jobs of cleaning, cooking and shopping to do.
While Stephen was riding his bike on Thursday the pedal fell off. When we had a close look at it we realised the thread was damaged, so on Friday morning we walked the bike back up the hill back to the supermarket to return it. These bikes were being walked more than ridden L
At first they tried to swap the bike for the one we returned on Monday. Our limited Italian made them realise we would not accept this bike! Their cunning plan B was to get one of the lads to take a pedal off the first returned bike and put it on the one we were trying to return. We knew this wouldn’t work as the arm on the bike had the damaged cross thread and sooner or later the pedal would fall off again. Sure enough it did on our way home. Back we went up the hill to try to return the bike.
This time the manager tried to fix the pedal, and as he couldn’t even get the pedal on at all (mainly because he was threading it on the wrong way) he reluctantly gave us our money back. Of course this was not an easy task due to the language barrier, but we managed. We then headed back out to the Ragusa supermarket to get Stephen a new bike. At least this time we knew how to fit it in the car. People in the marina were starting to wonder how many bikes we needed.
Saturday was officially our day off, but with two new bikes around we wanted to get them ready to ride. Saturday morning we started adjusting them. We were getting quite good at setting up bikes now and we were definitely the talk of the marina (again!).
We arranged to have lunch on Koa with Dan & Judy. We took over an onion and fennel quiche and some other nibbles, and they provided a rather nice lemon cake. We had a lovely lunch. When we were back on board Wanda later in the afternoon Johan came round to invite us over to Northern Light for drinks and a meal that evening. We had a lovely evening on board Northern Light with Johan and Eva and Sandy and Martin.
We were keen to get our bikes working so Sunday morning we were out again trying to get them set up fully. Anne’s gears and brakes weren’t quite right so after watching some YouTube videos on how to sort them out we managed to get them set up correctly. We then tweaked Stephens gears, which of course made them worse , so it took a bit of fiddling to get them back to working smoothly. Once the bikes were working we went out on a cycle ride J
Our new bikes (version 2)
During the week we were waiting for the new hatch to arrive while hoping for no rain. There was some rain forecast for Thursday night/ Friday morning so “Operation Keep the Bed Dry” was initiated. We put some thick plastic, stuck down with gaffer tape over the hatch opening, and also put up our canvas winter cover over the back part of the boat to try and keep the rain off.
Luckily it worked and we stayed dry during the heavy rain overnight. Our new hatch arrived just after the rain. As the weather forecast was for some more rain over the weekend we decided to wait to fit the new hatch the following week.
The hatch brilliantly packed as requested – thank you Ellen from…can you guess which chandlery sent it???