63 km, 4 hr
We can now say we have successfully crossed Italy – from the Tynhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea. We did cross at the narrowest point, but we will cross Italy again from the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic when we cross from Taranto to Brindisi.
We did not go into Catanzaro mainly because it sits at 302 meters above sea level and we started out the day at only 59 meters. We saw no need for the extra climbing and instead rode through Catanzaro Lido (Catanzaro beach).
We discovered today that a pub is a great place to get lunch. Prior to today, our lunches have been pizza or sandwiches. We found a pub today that was open and discovered they made a wonderful salad dish and also had some great fruit juices on hand. After not getting any vegetables yesterday (and it being Sunday so nothing is open), we were happy to find a healthy lunch.
At about 3:30 pm the threatening clouds decided to dump some rain on us. At first we put on our wind jackets, but it did not take long to realize they would not be enough to keep us dry. We stopped under closed gas pumps to put on some wet weather gear. Right after we stopped a couple of guys on motorcycles also pulled in. It appeared that they were making a phone call and hanging out until the rain stopped. One of them offered us a snack – some nice chocolate covered peanuts. Unfortunately, they spoke no English, so the conversation we pretty short. Once we had our rain gear on, we headed out only to discover that the rain had stopped – somewhat inevitable!
Tonight we are at the Albergo Il Corsaro in La Castella, near Isola di Capo Rizzuto. We checked out a couple of the camp sites here, but they were both closed. We also passed many Tourist Villages – also closed. Even though the weather is ideal for cycling, a lot of things here are closed for the off-season. Le Castella appears to have at least 4 hotels that are open. The Albergo is much nicer than the Albergo we stayed at in Rosarno, and a reasonable price (by Italian standards) of 60 Euro – which was the going rate for at least one of the other hotels in town. We probably could have negotiated a better rate, but our Italian just isn’t up for it, and we don’t feel comfortable enough to figure out how to ask for a better price. We’ll need to get over this sooner or later, or we’ll continue to overpay for everything.
Sunday night appears to be a night for family celebrations and eating out. We ate in the hotel and there were at least three large groups having dinner together.
We haven’t figured out how to “wild camp” in Italy yet. With sunset at 5 pm and restaurants open at 8 pm, the timing for dinner and camp setup doesn’t work. We are thinking about making dinner on our camp stove, but even then we’ll be cooking in the dark. If we can manage it, it will help to cut down our expenses, and allow us to use the camping gear we’ve been lugging around unused since Catherine’s backyard in Fredericton.
Becky is thinking she’d like to do a “best-of” post. That is, a post where we answer “what was your best …” or “what was your worst …”, but she doesn’t have any great ideas on what things to include. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. So far, Scott and Becky disagree about our best pasta in Italy. Scott really enjoyed the fresh pasta with pomodoro (tomato sauce) we had last night (it was definitely our best value), and Becky enjoyed the linguini she had in Rosarno with a local seafood that looked like little worms (if you looked closely, you could see the eyes!).