This morning began with a quiet thunder rumbling in the distance. Instead of ignoring the faint percussion, leaving our comfort to chance, I sprang to attention, shook Tyler awake and together we tore down camp in record time as the sun gave way to the dark clouds. In less than twenty minutes we were packed and ready to go, thankful we had our quickly rollable Therm-a-Rests.
Happy to have avoided a potentially crappy morning, we cycled off for the day, stopping in a nearby town for breakfast at a bakery. The french toast we'd intended on making would have to wait for a sunnier day. After eating we stopped to take pictures of these stray cats and met the friendly Englishwoman who took it upon herself to feed them every day. I'm getting much better at understanding Italian but it was a nice change to be able to speak knowing I wasn't totally botching a language.
Back on the road, we cycled in the direction of Terracina in the hopes of making the day a short one. About 5 kilometers from our destination it began to sprinkle and the skies darkened even further. Tyler is still getting over being sick and I really didn't feel like getting wet so we took shelter under a nice awning to wait out the impending rain. The moment we took cover, the skies opened up in a torrential downpour the likes of which we haven't seen since our awful night in Tuscany.
We had company while we waited; a lone chicken was wandering around near our shelter. Before the rain had really begun, Tyler tried (with little success) to corral her for a close-up photo shoot.
When it started raining we tried to encourage her to join us under the awning but she was too chicken (har har). Instead she chose the poorly protective shelter of a bush.
During a lull in the downpour, after she was thoroughly soaked, she tentatively made her way over and kept us company while we waited out the storm. After inspecting our bicycles, she found a cozy spot between panniers and allowed us to pet and feed her.
After a symphony of incredible thunder and rain that lasted over an hour we watched hopefully as the dark clouds slowly rolled by, leaving a clear blue sky in their wake. Success! It is a nice feeling when you can avoid having wet clothes and a damp home for days on end. Before leaving we joked about kidnapping the soggy, bedraggled hen we dubbed Henrietta (she wants to travel the world, too, right?), but in the end we did the responsible thing and bid her farewell.
A few kilometers down the road we found a campsite by the ocean, set up under clear skies and settled in for the first of a few restful days.