January 8

MY LEGS ARE BACK!  Well, sort of.  And, touch wood, my stomach has been absolutely fine today!  Still sniffling, coughing and sneezing and have an enormous bruise on my arm from my fall, but apart from that everything is looking great!

Great ride today, headed out of Francaville al Mare at about 830 and by about 1030 we’d come 40k, which is brilliant speed.  Realising we hadn’t eaten, we had a sit down by the side of the road and munched on some cookies and took some photos for fifteen minutes, then got on our way again towards Vasto.  About 5k outside Vasto, a nice man cycled with Ryan and told us that there was a good shop we could get lunch at, and that there’d been a terrorist attack on Paris.  I hope it wasn’t anything awful, but it does feel at least a little nice to be absolutely out of the loop of things.  Vasto didn’t turn out to be anything special and we blasted through pretty quickly, not stopping again until about 1230, where we found a nice spot of long grass and lay down for half an hour, listening to some music from my phone and talking about jazz, the Gorillaz and the Harlem Renaissance.  Clever people stuff. 

We hopped back on our bikes, and by 2pm we had arrived in Termolli.  It took us a little while to get there, as we’d spotted it a few kilometres back, but it, like some mystical land, never seemed to draw any closer.  Finally we got there, and everything was absolutely shut.  I was starving, and dying for some pizza, and Ryan, having had a slice at a gas station an hour before, was quite keen for a gelato.  We tootled around town for twenty minutes until we found a chicken place, who told us they had no chicken.  We went back to the station, on the directions of the chicken lady, and were able to find a kebab shop run by a lovely Pakistani man.  I had a great big plate of kebab, and Ryan had a kebab wrap and we all had a lively discussion about how I would get killed if I ever went to Pakistan or Afghanistan.  Scratch those two off the bucket list then. 

Refuelled and revitalised, we headed out of Termolli, which seemed to be permanently closed for business, and found a lovely straight road heading along the coast.  With a slow burn of a sunset as a backdrop, we covered another twenty kilometres and as it started to get dark, found a nice patch of grass by the side of the road.  Apparently we’ve done a good 120 kilometres today, Ryan’s faithful bike computer tells us, which is bloody great by my book.  We should be near Bari by tomorrow night, and could be in Brindisi by Sunday, which was my original estimate.  I thought we were going to be miles off, considering it took us three days to do the first hundred kilometres, but luckily it’s all worked out!  Tomorrow, we head through Foggia, which – based purely on the name along – sounds a bit crap, and then along the road to Bari.  Might have a rest day in Bari on Saturday then press on to Brindisi for Sunday, which would be great.  Left knee causing me a little bit of trouble today, but think it will be fine by time we get to Istanbul.  Looks to be a cold one tonight. 

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