Finally we arrived in Manciano to meet our friend Manu in a big Tuscan house full of Swiss-Germans and … Australian and Canadian!
We take this opportunity to get some rest, and update our logistics.
Well, we also eat a lot of ice cream, pizza and have a good time with others!
Great highlight for Alice: a new pair of sandals awaits her in Grosseto (yes the post office has not found the address of this house lost in Tuscany, so we have to make an hour of car, thank you Manu …). Finally her feet will be able to feel the air because they were forced to wear closed shoes since a big wave had carried away one of Alice’s sandal!
After three days of rest, we decide to get back on our horses towards the Adriatic Sea. Oups! There are some mountains between us and the sea! First stop after this departure on the Lake Bolsena because, awared that we will not see the sea for a week, we look forward to enjoy the water for one last time. As a bonus, it gives us a huge basin that allows us to find the holes of our two mattresses that had apparently decided to pierce at the same time!
We arrive in Amelia, a picturesque village perched on a hill towards the center of Italy. The sky gets heavier and we are surprised by the rain! After some thinking and several good croissants, we decide to stop for two nights in Amelia in Sylvia’s B & B. We enjoy this luxury life and hibernate in our apartment.
Once the beautiful weather returned, we continue our ascent in the Italian mountains. We arrive in Rieti, central Italy! Compared to all the beautiful little villages crossed on our road, nothing special to say about this city, except for its central status …
In the center of Italy, we also discover another reality than the coast’s one, a world a little more raw and hard, like this egg truck “the Natural” loading its goods from a huge shed that smells the dung of chickens who have never seen the light of day and who spend their time cackling, crammed in their house where they are probably more than 20,000 . Hurry to your caddies to buy the good eggs “Le Naturelle”!
The road goes up, up, up and we do not get lighter! We are too heavy for our taste to cycle in mountain! That’s why we are all happy when we arrive at the top and see the valley below! Youpi soon the sea! Italy is said to be a great mountain, well we did it!
When we finally arrive in Pescara, we are a little bit disappointed by the beaches that are all man-made in a commercial enough way … no way to find a piece of sand that is not covered with a deck chair! Fortunately, soon after Pescara, the beaches become more wild and we finally find free showers! (After 5 days in the mountains without running water, we needed it!)
Our road continues, flatter than in the mountains, until Campomarino where we stop at a campsite, the rain having prompted us. We meet Maria, Pieraldo, Michele, charming Italians who immerse us into their culture by their way of being and living and who have a great heart from our first meeting. It is also an opportunity to exchange with other tourists of various origins, including Michele and Jean-Paul who come from Toulouse and with whom we sympathize.
The road continues to Bari, dotted with huge fields of grape crops, fruit trees, etc. maintained by migrant workers whose salary for one hour must be between 2 and 3 € … everyone go quickly to your shopping carts in supermarkets to buy good mass products from Italy!
In Bari, we discover with amazement that all the hotels are full. But what are people doing here ?! We will not know, but will manage to find a room not too expensive where the bikes will be welcome with us for the night (the butler had strongly recommended it (or even obliged) if we did not want to go back by foot the next day).
Short visit of the city with our bikes the next day. We go quickly buy pretty rings at 3 € at the Chinese store: indeed, the more we go to the South, the more people look at our fingers strangely if they have no rings; we did not get married but we have the rings, so that it is clear (because we started to get messages of congratulation …). We then go quietly to our ferry in which we will spend the night to be in the early morning … in front of Greece! Arrival in Patra at 13h, but that’s another story that we keep for the next episode!
And some loose photos as a bonus: