According to our database, after ten months on the road we've ascended 108,469 meters and descended 108,215 more. Imperially speaking, that is nearly 70 miles in each direction. We have officially cycled up enough hills to take us into space. Cool! For the last day or two we've been enjoying the fruits of our recent climbing labors: lots of coasting. This morning, we cheerily left our cave dwelling under the first sunny skies we've had since our time in Salerno, knowing it would be an easy day.
Sure enough, our ride towards Bari was full of our favorite terrain: an ever so slight downgrade with lots of rolling hills to speed over. The weather was perfect, the scenery breathtaking. We even had a tailwind! We made sure to appreciate it, and often yelled to one another about how much fun we were having. Before we knew it we'd covered sixty kilometers and were thinking about settling down for the night.
We'd planned to camp on the beach, but then realized we would be heading directly into a large city dangerously close to sunset. Using wisdom gleaned from our previous mistakes, we called it an early day.
As is usually the case now, our search for a stealth camp was over in a matter of moments. Tara easily located a quiet, out of the way spot behind a beautiful stone church on the edge of a small suburb of Bari called Bitritto. We wheeled our bikes to the far end of the churchyard where we set up by some bushes and an olive tree.
There has been a big lull in our food writing over the last few months. Ever since winter hit, we've been cooking at night and good photos have been hard to come by. Writing about dinner isn't very fun if we can't see pictures of it! And so, I've finally stopped being afraid of the flash on our camera. I think I'm getting the hang of it.
Tonight, dinner was grilled cheese sandwiches using our new favorite dairy product: scamorza. We dipped them in another one of our recent food discoveries: "hot ketchup". If spicy ketchup hasn't caught on by the time we get home, we're going to have to learn how to make it. It is really tasty.
Tomorrow we head towards the coast, making our way south to Brindisi for the ferry to Greece.