Wow! Other Cyclists

October 30th, 2008 by scott and becky

15 km to Cariati and back

Since we had found a comfortable spot at Ristorante Camping di Mario, and Becky wasn’t feeling 100% (she felt a cold coming on), we decided to stay here for another night. In order to do that, we needed to do a quick trip into town to get food for the day. We also wanted to check email, and get more information about trains from Cariati to points north.

Thomas, Sebastian, and Becky

Thomas, Sebastian, and Becky

We rode across most of Cariati before we found an Internet Point. To our surprise, there were a couple of other touring cyclists there. These are the first touring cyclists we have seen in Europe. After we all finished with the Internet (when it closed at 1 pm), we bought the cyclists lunch and talked for a couple of hours. It was nice to meet a couple of fluent English speakers where we could have a real conversation. Sebastian and Tomas, from Sweden, were on the return leg of a six month tour. They had ridden from home to Morocco (via Spain), and taken a ferry from Tunisia to Genoa and then Palermo, Sicily. If you read Swedish (or use an online translator), you can learn more about their journey from their website . They are preparing to go to university next fall and are travelling on a very tight budget. They are spending most of their nights stealth camping and in some cases that means sleeping very little. Their experiences in Morocco were very positive, and they found many of the poorest people in Morocco were the most generous. As we shared our experiences, we found that we had all observed that people always warn us about the next province or the next country. “Oh, the drivers there are terrible!” “Be very careful, there are many thieves there!” We agreed that the vast majority of people are good, friendly and helpful. It’s too bad everyone can’t travel like this and learn that “the other” is actually a lot like “us”.

After our long lunch, we stopped by the train station. Scott went around back to examine the schedule. The station itself was closed, so we could not gather too much additional information. While Scott was examining the schedule, Becky got inundated by a group of children. They wanted to know about the bikes and where we were from. None of them spoke English beyond “Hello, Goodbye, What is your name?”. They had to try out the “what is your name?” question many times, perhaps because they didn’t recognize “Becky” as being a real name. They tried asking questions in Italian as well. Becky was entertained for about 5 minutes, but then found herself wishing Scott would return. Scott returned as the kids were asking if they could try the bikes. She tried to explain that they needed to be taller. Scott re-answered a few of the questions, and then we hopped on our bikes and made our escape.

We discovered that there is a 9 am train to Metaponto that has the bicycle symbol. The timing is right and it puts us within 50 km of Matera, so we will try to that out tomorrow morning.

Elevation Profile
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