ITALIA Day 7: Ridin’ in the Rain

“It’s probably gonna rain today.” – Caterina

“Probably gonna? Probably is-a.” – Joe from New York

HELLO FRIENDS!

Y’know, after 41 miles of biking, one is almost guaranteed to have a story to tell. And BOY, do I have a slew of stories to tell.

We woke up to another scrumptious colazione, and then headed out for our ride. And what do you know, it started with a hill.

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And this hill kept going…

…and going…

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for 5 kilometers.

We must thank Jane, who faithfully follows us each day in the Backroads van!
Gotta give it up for Jane, who faithfully follows us each day in the Backroads van!

And yet, eventually the honorable warrior Haley slayed the formidable dragon-hill. Many-a fair maiden and lord awaited my arrival high upon the crest. I was met with fanfare whilst heaving as an elephant would.

All toils and troubles were worth it in the end when we ended up in Alberbello, the land of trulli! What, you may ask, are trulli? These are the little cone-shaped, stone houses that are characteristic of the Puglia region that basically look like Italian hobbit houses. Our visit to Alberobello rejoined us with the amazing Mimmo, who basically owns the place. He seriously knew everyone there, which is awesome. He gave us a cultural visit of the town as well as some good information about trulli. Take a look at this place! I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it:

MIMMO!!!!!!

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We then got to enjoy a picnic lunch, prepared by the amazing Caterina! And how dope is this: we got to eat in a trullo!

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Post-lunch, 3 other women and I set course for the “long loop”, which was the longest option for riding for the day and adds an extra 9 miles to the route to the next hotel. I have to say, this was by far the most beautiful day of riding thus far:

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It was also one of the most difficult athletic feats I’ve ever made in my life. It rained 75% of the time (otherwise I’d have more pictures) and I probably counted 20 hills. I’ve never ridden a bike half that far, and half of the ride was hilly. Indeed, the women I went with kicked my butt. SERIOUSLY, if I ever become half as good a rider as them, I will be praising the Roman gods.

We ended up at our amazing hotel, the Villa San Martino. It’s a shame we’re only here for a night; I know I say this a lot, but freaking look at this place?!!!!:

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After a quick shower, I realized that everything was worth it, as we made way for the gorgeous, whitewashed old town of Locorotondo, called one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. I think that’s an understatement!:

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Of course, what would an Italian city be without lolscupltz? My mom found a perfect one on top of the church above:

"OH NO YOU DIH-ENT GURL."
“OH NO YOU DIH-ENT GURL.”

Our next adventure was a pasta-making lesson with Antonella, the owner of La Taverna del Duca, where we ate dinner.

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Some of us were apparently experts. 😉

The famous Joe killin' it at pasta-making.
The famous Joe killin’ it at pasta-making.

Me, ehhhh, not so much. But it was fun!

Dinner followed in the main room of the tavern and consisted of delicious Pugliese cusine. Lots of eggplant, incredible pecorino cheese, and some out-of-this-world bean dishes. Oh, and not to mention plenty of PASTA!

Ciao bella!
Caterina – Ciao bella!

Will it rain on Day 8 (Backroads Day 4)? I’m not sure. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Thought of the day: When the going gets tough, keep going. You’ll be glad you did.

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