One of my earliest holiday memories is the boating lake on the front at Exemouth in Devon. There during the summer holidays on normally windy, chilly days I went to sea in command of a small bath like boat with two paddles one on either side. Clutching the handles in you hands you spun them around and the boat moved forward, spin them back and you went astern. I was the Captain on the bridge and the Chief Engineer in the engine room combined.
On our first holiday to Italy in the late 50’s we went to Fregene beach outside of Rome and there nestling on the shore was my first pedelo. No more aching arms. This was leg power and with my sister as first mate the Mediterranean was ours. In those days you hired them for an hour and gave the bronzed Adonnis a dustbin full of lira for the privilege.
It was the year I was taken to see my first A certificate film by an uncle who got a severe dressing down from my mother. We saw The Vikings with Kirk Douglas and so my pedalo became the longboat and ramming speed was achieved as long as my sister’s feet could reach the pedals.
The price of renting one down here in Puglia for just 15 mins now needs a new mortgage taken out on the house so those memories are all I have.
However today I read that an architect from Molfetta is about to pedalo ( new verb) around Puglia all 784 kilometres of coastline. He decided last year to take the challenge on and has raised the cash to do it.
He is looking for co pilots to accompany him on sections of the voyage which he expects to take about two weeks in total. I was quite tempted to volunteer until I saw an interview on his website with the local coast guard whose every other word was pericoloso which means danger in Italian. Maybe pedolos are a young man’s sport I thought.
Of course he is not using just any old pedalo off the beach, probably because the rental of one of those for two weeks would push the cost of the project into cyberspace. He has gone for the latest in pedalo technology. Now don’t ever say this blog isn’t educational , I bet you didn’t know there was a cutting edge pedalo out there. This is it
the Bionx Seascape 12 though I am not sure about this electric motor thing are you? It appears that the motor can whip you along at a tidy 5 mph ( 8kph) for up to 5 hours without a charge and there is room on the “boat” for more batteries if you want. Seems a bit fishy to me excuse the pun. I thought he was peddling his way around.
Anyway here is Michele with his first co pilot testing it out in the harbour
by the way if you don’t like the colour it comes in five other ones as well. Michele is putting all kinds of equipment on it and so will be doing a live blog once he sets off on the voyage. Actually it is still quite tempting and think how my Italian would improve after 2 weeks at sea.
I wonder what ramming speed is in Italian ?
I couldn’t find any music about pedalos in Italian and the nearest I could get with a nautical theme is a singer called Daniela Pedali ( close enough).
My daughter had a thing about Leonardo Dicaprio and so I lost count of the times I saw that film.
I actually really liked the old one A Night to Remember with Kenneth Moore who I thought after Reach For The Sky always walked as if he had tin legs.