Do you really need a map?

It all started to go pear shaped from the minute we went to pay our hotel bill. The computer said "mi d'is piace, I can't process your request". So I had to cough up all our cash to pay the bill. We found the banco in the main square, on our way to pick up our bikes, only to discover that it didn't have an ATM. After collecting our bikes, along with about 8 others, we discovered that our helmets were not included in the deal, although we had requested helmets. They graciously gave us helmets, but also charged us E30 for the privilege. Money that we didn't have. So it was back to the main square to investigate further. Alas, no ATM anywhere, but we were allowed to pay at our next stop. It only took about 200 metres for Ray and I to have our first navigation discussion. As we were in the middle of said discussion, the bike hire guy drove past, so I asked him where to go, as opposed to telling Ray.

We were off and pedalling away from Matera, through the verdant countryside. We overtook all our fellow travellers and decided to stop in Putignano, which was a bit out of the way, and up a bloody big hill, but I was sure it would have an ATM. It did, and also provided a photo opportunity for Ray, as a car was parked at an angle on a pedestrian crossing. Unfortunately, everywhere was closing, so we were only able to grab a gelato for lunch. And then, we deviated from the suggested route. Ray was not happy for the rest of the trip, cursing the directions. I was cursing the fact that lots of hills seemed to appear that were not part of the plan, but we were travelling in the right direction, just not on the right road. 

We reached Alberobello by 3.15pm, and just took another 45 minutes finding our accommodation, as we came into the town from the wrong direction. Eventually, we had to phone the hotel, only to discover that we were one street away. Our 72km day turned into a 78 km day with extra hills, but we still managed to arrive before any of our fellow travellers. Ray then had to spend half an hour finding out where we went wrong. Oh, men and maps. 

Meanwhile I had a hot shower and suggested that Ray should wash his t-shirt in the shower. 10 minutes later after a "thanks for the tip" and a lot of cursing, the water had gone stone cold, and when I say stone, we are staying in a Trulli, in a world heritage site. As Patsy has mentioned they are kinda round huts made out of stone. Very cute, but very cold. And as I am writing, we have discovered that although there is a kitchenette, we can't even boil water for a cup of tea. 

We had a very ordinary pizza for dinner because the male amongst us was starving, apparently gelati is not enough for lunch, even though he had an enormous breakfast, so we had to eat early, before the restaurants were open. 

Oh well the end of the first day of our 14 days of biking. Apparently it was the hardest and tomorrow will be easy peasy as it is all down hill and only 49kms. 

Ciao for now

Brenda and the map reader.

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