January 12

Another great night’s sleep in Olive Tree, and a massive breakfast in the morning.  Once I’d filled up on nutella and orange juice, got all our stuff packed and headed over to a camping shop in town.  We’ve been hoping to get an attachment for the stove that will allow us to burn butane gas, but everywhere we’ve gone so far hasn’t had one.  Well, this place was no different, but I was able to pick up a knife thankfully, as I’ve not had one since we left the UK.

So since stage 1 of the plan hadn’t gone well, we decided screw it and head off on the bikes.  I’d decided not to follow the coast this time, as there were supposed to be some beautiful little towns on the way to Brindisi – Conversano and Alberobello especially.  Conversano was supposed to have a beautiful Swabian castle built by the Hohenstaufen’s, and Alberobello was full of these small hut like things so it seemed like a nice way to spend a day, cruising between the two. 

Well, Conversano and the castle was a disappointment.  The castle had been turned into restaurants and shops, and we couldn’t even go in the castle proper.  We spent a little while taking some photos and cruising about town, then decided that it was actually a bit shit, and we should make a move towards Alberobello.  About an hour later, and lots of hills, we made it into town.  The entire countryside around about was full of these small, circular, stone huts.  They were all built to the same plan, and were all made of stone with slate roofs.  They were quite odd.  Well, Alberobello was beautiful, and as we were about to leave we noticed there were some massive storm clouds behind us that were coming on fast.  Both Ryan and I were not keen on getting soaked, so we high tailed it out of town as fast as possible.  Through luck, speed, good wind direction or a combination of all three, we were able to get through the clouds with only the lightest smattering of rain.  As it was coming up to 5pm, and we were only halfway to Brindisi, we cycled to Fasano and jumped on a train heading south-east – missing our ferry was really not an option.

It was dark when we arrived in Brindisi, and in my attempts to find the ferry port, ended up going to the old port proper.  It was very nice and touristy, but not where we’d find a ferry, so we got back on the bikes and went through some crazy traffic to arrive at the ferry terminal proper.  Well, as to be expected, they told us on arrival that we could only buy tickets from the port – the very place we’d just come from.  No, that wasn’t annoying in the slightest.  One return trip, two pizzas and a couple of beers later, we checked in for our ferry and waited.  Although it was supposed to board at 2130, we ended up getting on at half ten, and within minutes were both asleep.  Next stop Albania.

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