Arrivederci Puglia

The most difficult bit of our last ride in southern Italy was reading the directions. The road was almost flat, the wind mostly behind us, the scenery still stunning and the directions still confusing. After spending the first 20 kms by the sea, we turned inland, where it all went wrong. We arrived in Acaya for lunch and to visit the castle, only to find that nothing opens until 1 May. 

So after travelling on for about 3 kms we entered another village, which was not on the map. Uh-oh. My suggestion of retracing our steps was met with gentle disdain, as Ray consulted his phone and took us on a 8 km tour of olive groves on dirt tracks. But we managed to find the correct route eventually, and sorry it wasn't an 8 km detour, only 7.5. [It was actually 5.5klms. RS] I do tend to exaggerate. 

As we approached Lecce and our final destination, guess what? Yep, we got lost again! This time, I scouted around for a sign, but he was not struck by lightning and I found a "this way" sign, which luckily put us back on the right track. We stopped at a bar for some sustenance and asked directions and had no problem finding our hotel, although Ray did discover that someone had stolen his front light by cutting the wires. 

We ditched the bikes and walked around Lecce, found a TIM shop to get some more data upload for his phone (most of it was used up in Cefalu as he had the only reliable internet access), looked at churches and stuff and went in search of dinner. This was to occupy ourselves until the train departed at 10pm. The train departed on time and the sleeper was quite comfortable. We changed trains in Bologna this morning and now we are about 1 hour from Bolzano. The mountains have appeared and the sun has gone. All is looking great for our next 7 days of cycling!

master map reader

The master map reader digging us out of another hole in Acaya.

lecce day 1

Brenda Raymond and The Swiss Guy

lecce day 2

We discovered who knows how many Apostles on the trip from Otranto to Lecce. They are liable to last much longer than ours in Australia, because there is much less erosion due to the slightly calmer conditions.

lecce day 3

The bustlng town of Acaya. It was once a model town, with some famous architect town planner from the 16th century optimising its layout for defence and livability. What a combination! Unfortunately it is not open on Mondays.

lecce ampi

You just never know what you are going to dig up in Italy. When digging the foundations for something else, they came upon this. Just about every city and town has been built on the ruins of a previous civilisation.

lecce church

I have included this here, not because it is remarkable, but because it is ordinary. Just about every town with a population of more that 10,000 has a number of incredible buildings, usually churches or monastries etc. They nearly always contain priceless artworks. I guess thay have earned their keep over the years, although they have not found any evidence of cost benefit analyses from that time.

Ciao for now

Brenda and the director

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