Around the knuckle of Italy

October 24th, 2008 by scott and becky

62 km, 5 h

We are beginning to establish a morning routine. Becky gets up and going hunting for a cup of coffee and some form of sustenance. She has figured out how to order coffee the way she likes it “Caffé Americano con latte”. This morning she noted that in the coffee shop there were only men. It seems that women do not go out for morning coffee (or siesta time coffee either) only men do. She may have interrupted some ribald conversation at the coffee shop, since the men were laughing and shouting loudly, but the proprietor “shushed” them when he saw Becky arrive.

Just as we were starting out, we found an open grocery store (super-marcado), so we stopped to pick up a few things. We now have the necessary ingredients to make supper, fruit for a snack, and cereal for breakfast. We are equipped well enough to camp if we can find such a place. Unfortunately it also means we need to carry all this through the hills today.

Becky enjoying her second caffe of the day

Becky enjoying her second caffe of the day

Today’s ride had us take the scenic road along the coast of the knuckle of Italy (that is, the part that sticks out just north of the toe). The ride started with a long up hill, and continued with ups and downs throughout the day.

We managed to find a small shop open in Coccorino that made excellent sandwiches (prosciutto and cheese). So, we are getting better at finding food for our mid-day meal. We stopped at 12:00 to eat, after having ridden only 18 km (all up hill). Becky was doubting if we would make it to Pizzo for tonight.

Shortly after our lunch break, the ride turned from uphill to downhill. We cruised for 12 km to Santa Dominica. We must have made a wrong turn at some point, as the road became much more minor and we had to climb a brutal hill to get out of Santa Dominica and back to the main road (oops). That definitely tired us out!

At 4:15 pm we finally gave up on Pizzo and headed into Vibo Marina for the night – Becky was exhausted. We fallowed the signs to the main hotel in town. Becky went in (we are taking turns, and today was Becky’s turn), and with her best Italian, discovered the cost to be much too high (134 Euro). She asked for an alternate, and the receptionist suggested a Bed and Breakfast that was on the road towards Pizzo. Given that we knew where the road was, we figured we should give it a try.

Before giving it a try, we had to stop for Gelato. There are many places that advertise Gelato, but not all of them seem to have it. We are out of season, so it is not too surprising. Fortunately, we do seem to find one or two places that do have it, so we were delighted to have Gelato break today.

The B&B turned out to be much closer than we expected – just up the street. We were delighted to find it. The lady at the B&B spoke enough English that Becky was able to determine the cost to be 70 Euro, which includes breakfast. It is still a little more than we would like to be spending, but by the time we got here, we were ready to stop. It’s difficult for us to bargain when we aren’t prepared to walk away! We have found a home for the night. As a bonus, the B&B has Internet. The lady allowed us to cook our dinner in her kitchen – so we did not need to eat out and could have dinner at a earlier time – yay!

Becky has noticed that words in Italian seem to have one more syllable that she expects. She was saying “grat-zee” for thank-you, but it is actually “grat-zee-e”. This is causing great confusion, as Becky is getting numbers confused .. she thought that when the lady at the B&B said 70, she was saying 78! .. Fortunately, a quick point at the guide book clarified things.

Elevation Profile
Download GPS Track in GPX format

Looking back at where we\'ve come from

Looking back at where we've come from

Leave a Reply