The last day we spend in Italy, we decided to go to lake Bilancino. A couple of days earlier we tried to visit the famous dog beach in Livorno. But this time we only saw the beach as we drove by back and forth. Two and a half hour drive, two hours of searching where it could possibly be, and when we finally found it, there was absolutely no parking space to be found. So we turned home again with two jumpy doggies in the back of the car, howling and barking of discontent with their noses pressed against the window to watch the sea disappear further from view.

 

 

Irritated as hell that we again couldn’t run and play and swim with Kuzco and Malha, and wasted a whole day and fuel for nothing, we browsed the internet searching for a nearby lake or something at least. We found Lago di Bilancino, the largest artificial lake in Tuscany in Barberino di Mugello near Florence, and it was told that dogs were welcome to play and swim unleashed. Since there was a Facebook account of the lake, I decided to ask where exactly we could go with our dogs, and if they really can walk and play unleashed. Not expecting a answer real soon, I was surprised within minutes my phone bleeped with a reply. The whole lake was dog friendly, to swim and play unleashed. He even suggested Bahia cafe, a “beach-cafe” set-up on the lake’s coastline with chairs, umbrellas, and every water sport imaginable up for rent. For once we were carefully hopeful, and packed our beach bag one more time.

 

 

When we arrived, it was so hot. It looked so beautiful, and not at all as busy as we were expecting it to be on a Saturday. But across the lake we saw very dark clouds coming our way. I felt my body tensing up.

Oh dear…. Please keep those clouds far far away. I don’t think Ramon can take one more set back this holiday…

But off course it did arrived, with thunder, lightning and lots of rain within minutes.

‘What do you want to do?’ I asked carefully. Do you want to go home, or shall we drink something at the Bahia café?’

Like a rolling thunder itself, he growled the words out of his mouth. ‘We are staying right here. The doggies are finally able to swim. I don’t care about nothing anymore! Even if the camera breaks down due to the rain, which undoubtedly with our never ending luck in life will happen…. I just don’t give a fuck anymore…..’ As if the raindrops weighed a hundred pound each, he let his head down and curved his back heavy.

 

 

I played with Kuzco and Malha for a while in the pouring rain, and then I managed to convince Ramon to have a drink at the Bahia café.

 

 

There was only one place left to sit, which was underneath a canopy. I dried Kuzco and Malha with the only towel that was still dry, and wrapped Malha in it to make her stop shivering  from the cold.

 

 

She snuggled in Ramon’s arm like a baby, and within minutes she was fast asleep. It is amazing how a simple thing like cuddling and softly cradling Malha can make Ramon totally relax, and even in his darkest mood, turns a smile on his face.

 

 

We had another wine, and with every sip we took, it was raining less and less. When Ramon could smile again, the sun was shining again. We were the only few people left, so we had almost had the ‘beach’ to ourselves.

 

 

I was so glad we stayed until the rain was gone. We had the most lovely time, lying in the sun, enjoying each other, and Kuzco and Malha running and playing, and looking so happy.

 

 

This was the best and wonderful way to end an eventful holiday to say the least. Even though it seemed something was doing its very best to ruin our holiday, we managed to make the best of it, and am convinced, made it even more intense. I loved Tuscany.

 

 

I loved the landscape, the food, the wine, the weather. All through our time in Italy, I didn’t have to wear my gloves. My hands stayed warm, and hurt a little less. It was such a nice feeling  not needing to wear the gloves, and feel the agonising pain so much.

 

 

I’m looking back at an intense, wonderful loving time.  I can’t wait to select a few pictures to put on the refrigerator, to remind me of the wonderful, eventful times we spend in Italy together with the four of us.

 

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