It was an interesting week, both very relaxing and very active. It started, luckily, very relaxing with just a short 40km ride from Rignano Garganica to Manfredonia. Just a little bit of climbing before I could go down the hills of Gargano which was really fun to do and got me to Manfredonia in a short 2 hours which of course meant time to chill by the beach !!! :D
And how I missed being near the coast, the lovely smell of a sea and sandy beach always feels like coming home somehow ^^. I didn’t exactly started sunbathing right away since I couldn’t take my bike down to the beach due to some stairs, so instead relaxed a little on the boulevard. Where somebody quickly started talking to me, a friendly guy named Luigi and after he found out after some chatting that I was planning to sleep on the beach he insisted I sleep at his house, but first he had to work and left me his number to contact him later in the day. Although I was really appreciative of this I was really looking forward to sleep on the beach ^^ so in the end I thankfully declined his offer.
Time to hunt down some lunch, since I was getting quite hungry, unfortunately it took me the better part of 2 hours since everything was closed during the day :/ so eventually I asked around in a bar and they directed me towards an open supermarket not too far away where I stocked up food and water for the rest of the day.
With some food in my belly and stocked up for dinner and breakfast I slowly started to make my way a little outside of the city since I saw on google maps there are some empty beaches there and start looking for a suitable place to pitch my tent, after finding a couple places I finally picked the third one on an abandoned and mostly closed of parking lot. Which had a interesting looking observation tower or something nearby and curious as I sometimes can be couldn’t resist having a look from the top ^^.
Wow !! what a nice view it was up there I could see pretty far in all directions and also the sun was just starting to set making it really beautiful, unfortunately the wind had started to blow quite a bit making the tower shake quite noticeably so I decided it was probably better to get back down again to start pitching my tent and make some dinner.
The next (Wednesday) I woke up very early after a not very good night rest, thanks to the seemingly hurricane type winds, at least it seemed like that from within my tent, it was shaking like crazy all night long :/ After a nice fruity breakfast and a couchsurf accept I made my way to a wonderfully empty patch of beach with a nice abandoned and crumbling old beach club to block the wind and since it was I was completely alone I decided to chill out butt naked ^^ and yes…… that’s where the Sunburn part comes in :P
After some hours of lovely naked solitude I heard some loud noises nearby and found out it was already pretty painful to put on my pants….. oh oh. The noise turned out to be a group of moto crossers and I was chilling at there practice area for the day, but it was pretty cool to watch, had a nice chat with their coach who after finding out I slept near the beach that night also offered my a place to sleep in his garage…… woow the people here are very hospitable, but I had already confirmed with the couchsurfing host so again I thankfully declined.
Late afternoon I started making my way back to the city, to start looking for the address of my host Francesco which was not hard to find and after a short wait he too arrived. He was really funny, friendly and hospitable, but he had to leave pretty quickly to a family dinner but was fine with me staying at his house and relax make dinner etc. but first on my list was a nice shower.
Turned out the shower was not nice, it was VERY painful, my butt was really burned and when I looked in the mirror it was pretty much pomodori rosso ( tomato red) OUCHO !
Because of the nasty sunburn, I decided that it would be best if I stay out of the sun the next day, so I mostly relaxed around Francesco’s house and put another video together. In the early evening when it was much cooler I went out for a walk around the city which was very nice with a relaxing atmosphere and lots of nice little old looking streets.
Then the next day it was time to hit the road again, a very long day in which a set a new personal record of 129km and yes….. this is where the saddle sores come in :P
The first half of the ride was pretty boring unfortunately not because it was all flat and just one straight road but mostly because there was hardly anything interesting to look at and the continuous head wind didn’t make it any more fun either. When I reached the city of Barletta about half way through I had my self a well-deserved break on the boulevard enjoying the view of the sea, too bad it was still pretty windy otherwise I would probably have taken a quick dip in the water ^^
After I had a little lunch it was time to continue since I wanted to arrive my destination before dark, it not a good idea to cycle in the dark here ;) Luckily the views were much nicer the second half except for all the roadkill……. Lot’s of hedgehogs, cats, dogs a seagull and a fox or two…. Poor animals….
Another Brightside of the second half was that there were quite a few and very good cycle paths, something I haven’t seen in a long time :P
When I finally arrived in the city of Bari you can probably understand how relieved I was…… Made it !!!! just a little bit more and I can relax and shower…….. but noooooo, apparently my gps decided to take me to completely wrong address and got me nice and lost :/ after trying to find the right place without much luck I contacted hosts Giuseppe and Francesco to ask where I was exactly and where to go, but instead Giuseppe was kind enough to come pick me up, Following him in his car it turned out it was an extra 3 or so km on top of the already covered 126km pffffffff :P
But when we were finally there I got a warm welcome from al his awesome pets, about 9 dogs and 8 cats, got a quick tour of there beautiful house (with hot tub and sauna) and quickly jumped in the shower for a good refreshing wash.
So as you can imagine one of the first things I did the next day (Saturday) was to jump in the hot tub, turn on the massage jets and not move for several hours…… just … heaven ^^ the rest of the day was all about eating drinking and lots of relaxing which I am continuing today (Sunday).