Barletta to Alberobello
Despite the gorgeous weather the ride from Barletta to Bari wasn’t much to write about – it was a bit like experiencing a repeated cycle of Bognor Regis seafronts, occasionally interspersed with a prettier town with annoyingly cobbled streets. Still the sun was warming up and the sea was a beautiful blue so pretty much perfect for an easy-going bike ride.
I eventually found Michele, my couch surfing host for the night – actually he found me, hanging around the corner of the only park in Bari (apparently!). Michele was fabulous – treating me to the best local pizza before driving us down the coast to Polignano, a beautiful old town where the white houses are built closely together to keep the heat at bay during the summer. We ate delicious local gelato while M showed me around and I kicked myself for not bringing the camera.
The next morning after tasty breakfast in a local cafe Michele accompanied me out of Bari and saw me off at Capurso. Left on my own again it seemed to take a lot to keep the wheels going – not sure if that was all the chocolate croissant or the gently climb into the central hills of Puglia.
Anyway I discovered many more pretty white villages with roadways hidden between the houses at Turi, Pugliano and Noci before gaining the last hill to Alberobello where I got distracted in my search for somewhere to sleep the night. The first campsite (signposted up a very big hill, just when I thought I’d seen the last of them) looked pretty closed but I was assured by one of the workmen that I could stay for the bargain price of E15 (!). Then my Garmin came to the rescue and took my back down the monstrous hill to another (closed) campsite where they put me up in my own bungalow with TV, but sadly no hot water, for a tenner.I fell asleep watching an Italian chat show (twice) and so missed the invitation from Jean Francoise and his wife to join them for a nightcap next door. We made up for this the next morning with coffee and reenactments of his best music numbers thanks to Facebook and Youtube. After that lively start to the day I went off to explore the Trulli of Alberobello…