January 7

After the stress of last night, today went quite well.  Had a few bathroom visits during the night, that still hasn’t cleared itself up, and Ryan had to go and relieve himself once this morning as well, so there’s a fear he might have got the bug I have.  Fingers crossed not.  Ended up being very pleased with our campsite, except the fact that it was across a slight incline, so Ryan slowly slid into the wall, and I slowly slid into Ryan over the course of the night. It was on the inside corner of a hairpin bend, so traffic would never notice us during the night, as their beams would never pass us – pretty cunning if I say so myself.  I was up by about 6am and the sun was rising, so I gently nudged Ryan into consciousness until he decided that it was a good idea to make a move.  We ended up getting on our bikes about 730 which I think is earliest so far.  Glorious sunrise, days are starting noticeably earlier now – nights are fair drawing in eh dad?

Even though we were both feeling quite poorly, and there was a fairly consistent headwind (grrrrrr) we made good time and by about 1130 we’d made it over halfway to Pescara.  After about three near misses with finding a Decathlon, we were finally able to do it and spent an hour getting Ryan’s bike tuned up, buying a few extra things and talking to the bike staff.  Glad we were finally able to make it to one.  Annoyingly, within 100m of us leaving the place that does bike repair, Hobbes started making an irritating clicking noise, which I am yet to get to the bottom of.  After another hour of cycling, we had a quick lunch and jumped back on the bikes to get on our way.  One lovely piece of the day was the whitebearded Italian cyclist, clad in lycra of course, who gave us loads of thumbs up and very vocal encouragement (in Italian), which was nice.  Didn’t understand a word, but the thought was appreciated. 

Made it into Pescara around 4, and I’ve never seen worse driving in Italy so far.  People parked in the road, no-one using their signals, people pulling out right in front of us.  I got quite stressed about it and called a half before we took a turn off to Foggia so I could have some ice tea and discovered there was some free wifi nearby.  Although my phone doesn’t pick up any signal (EVEN THOUGH IT SHOULD 3!) Ryan was able to catch it and check some messages from home.  Potential for one of his friend in Milan to meet us in Foggia but highly doubtful. 

After we moved through Pescara as quickly as possible, we came to Francavilla al Mare, where there was a lovely pier, and naughty boys that we are we rode our bikes along the pier to take some photos.  Rolling out of town we were beset by great places for a wild camp, and have settled down in one evenly spaced about 20 metres between the sea and the road.  Wildflowers all around, lots of lush grass to lie on and I think some kind of wild herbs – perhaps best wild camp yet.   Not too hungry so dinner will probably be a miss.  Tomorrow aiming for somewhere past Termoli.  Not sure about where we’re going to go once we arrive to Brindisi, we have the option to go to Vlore in Albania or Igoumentina in Greece.  We’d be cycling from Vlore to Igou anyway, so way just make Albania a miss, as there’s a pretty enormous pass – Mt Cika 1000m – that we’d have to crawl over to get to Greece.  No rush to decide though.  Weather is beautiful and warm.  Well, during the day, when we’re cycling hard, we can get down to our base layers, which is bloody warm for January if you ask me. 

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