The tour was coming to an end, and we were still a long ways from Venice. We wanted to see Lago di Garda, at least, but did not have the time to ride there and did not want to deal with the larger cities between Lago di Como and Lago di Garda, specifically Bergamo and Brescia. So we opted to use trains to cover distance faster than we could ride.
Breakfast was an interesting affair. The typical breakfast at the Motel Nautilus appeared to be a croissant and a cup of coffee. The owner apparently felt she needed to offer more so gave us some yogurt. When we peeled off the foil tops on the cups we found a nice green garden growing on the surface. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, we skimmed the mold off the surface and ate the rather tangy yogurt.
We checked out of the Motel Nautilus and prepared for the passage through the two, consecutive, long tunnels between where we were and Lecco. Being a Sunday car traffic was a bit light but there were quite a few bicyclists out. We ended up pulling a train of bike racers through the two tunnels, no one wanting to pass in the confined spaces. Past the second tunnel we followed the same route we had taken about 36 hours earlier into Lecco and then used the GPS to navigate to the train station. I went in to the station and waited in a horribly slow moving line to get tickets, then we negotiated the sotto passagio to move to the proper platform for our train. We took one train to Brescia and then transferred to another train to Desanzano di Garda. In Desanzano we attempted to find some lunch. The ristorante across the street from the train station was closed so we started rolling downhill towards the main road we would be taking to the lake. We found another ristorante, but they were about to close. Foiled a second time we rode down to SS11 and headed east towards Sirmione. About a half-mile later we spotted an open restaurant and stopped for a late lunch.
Lago di Garda is culturally quite different than the lakes further west. We realized this as we saw signs for 'Gardaland' and a movie them park hyping a Rambo theme. Blech! Sirmione is a very thin peninsula into the lake, at times only about 150 ft or so across, and packed with hotels and tourists; very reminiscent of coastal Florida in atmosphere. We secured a hotel, parked the bikes in a basement office, changed into swimsuits and went out on the lawn to lounge, read, and swim. Really felt decadent to take it so easy after a day off! In the early evening we cleaned up and took a stroll down towards the end of the peninsula looking for dinner. We found a nice, covered outdoors restaurant and enjoyed a nice, relaxed supper. At one point an older 'nonna' came over to a planter next to our table to harvest some basil leaves for the kitchen. Fresh ingredients are a good thing. After dinner we walked out and around the castle at the end of the peninsula before strolling back to the hotel and a reading session on the patio as the sun set.