I left the B&B by 8:30 am, and wandered over to the archaeological site. These sites are littered over Italy. I’m amazed that so many have survived over 2,000 years.
Heading out of town, the road turned up. The next 6 km were a steady steep climb bringing me to the ridge and riding through classic Italian villages perched atop mountains.
The ubiquitous Italian pelotons apparently chose a different route; I was passed by only a couple of individuals. When the third passed he turned back around to chat. Guido soon would turn left to my right, but we walked through the questions of where I was from and where I was headed. He asked if I had a map, and we pulled over. At that point we’d climbed to 800 meters, and could see for miles. He pointed out all of the cities and mountains in the distance, including an 1800m peak. Glad I wasn’t headed that way.
I’ve been following GPX tracks for Eurovelo 5 and Via Appia. Leaving Guido I’d climbed to over 850 meters. Turning right I began the long descent down. Shortly after my right the track left the main road I was following. Examining the map carefully, EV5 clipped the corner, and would return to the same highway in 6 km. Tinkering with OSMAnd showed I would be climbing over the ridge, saving 6 km. 500 m after I left the highway, I knew I’d made a mistake. Given the incline, I kept having to stop to rest. The gradient increased to the point I couldn’t remount the bicycle. I walked the last km to the ridge, 50 meters at a time. Didn’t do my knee any favors.
After that I had almost 40 km of down. When the track again turned away from the highway, I would trade a 300 m climb for 10 additional km of down. Fool me once EV5. . . I stuck with the highway.
As a cyclist, I pass by a lot of roadkill. Lizards, cats, foxes, snakes, turtles, possum. Today was my fist wild boar. I heard snuffling in the underbrush shortly thereafter and quickly moved on.
On the final approach to Lavelto, the highway increased to a size typically prohibiting bicycles. However, when I went to take the secondary highway, a sign prohibited bicycles! Onto the highway. Concerned about being pulled over, I took the first exit, only to shortly encounter another sign prohibiting bicycles. Well, at least I was less likely to encounter a police car on the smaller road. The road took me through an industrial park before turning for Lavelto. Close enough to be certain as to my arrival, I booked a cheap hotel room at Hotel Dante and finished my ride into the city.
The long descent screwed up my sense of food, water, and sunscreen. Arriving at the hotel I was sunburnt, out of water and close to out of food.
One of the problems with off-season and last-minute reservations? No one at the hotel, and the door locked. The mother of the person who should have been at Reception walked by with her dog. We bonded over poodles as we waited for her daughter to arrive.
By the time I had a shower nausea from lack of calories began to overwhelm me. I walked to a local market for food.
Guido mentioned that rain is forecast for all of tomorrow. Now mostly out of the mountains, I’m hoping I outran it. If not tomorrow could be a day off.
I’ve been a bit concerned about timing. I have multiple possible destinations for ferries out of either Brindisi or Bari. Greek cycling will be challenging, likely making today look like a cakewalk. Wild dogs and sheepdogs in Greece both pose serious challenges for a cyclist. Looking for backup plans in case I can’t cycle to Athens in the time available. The Greeks disassembled the main rail lane as part of an upgrade.