From: San Vito
Greetings from Bari, Italy. Today’s walk was fairly straightforward, but had its share of little irritants that we have learned to just let slip right off our backs.
The day started in San Vito with breakfast at our hotel. We hit the road about 8:30 with 20 miles ahead of us to Bari. The route was straight up the coastline, about half of it along the freeway service road; the rest along some scenic coastal roads and even a couple of long bicycle paths. We like the bike paths because they keep us separated from the automobile traffic.
About halfway into the day we stopped for lunch at a gas station that had an attached cafe. While there we met three people dressed in what Dave and I thought were bicycling clothes. I took the opportunity to ask one of the guys if they were from Bari and did they know of an outdoor store where I could perhaps get some new shoes. They showed us on our phones where there was a store along our route that might have what I needed. You might wonder why I already need new shoes after only 366 miles. I normally can get 600-700 miles out of a pair. Unfortunately, I made a bad decision before I left home to buy my normal hiking shoes, except in a waterproof version. It’s the first time I’ve done this, and will now be the last. Because these shoes don’t let wetness in, they also don’t let wetness out. I’ve had blister problems because my shoes are not “breathing.” Luckily, Dave brought an extra pair of shoes just my size that are not waterproof, so I’m wearing them until I can buy a new pair. I really need to get that taken care of or else Dave will wear out his current shoes and then need his new pair to wear himself. Unfortunately, the store the guy at lunch recommended did not have what I needed. I’ll keep looking.
Right after our lunch break, the skies started to darken. While there was no rain in the forecast, it started to come a shower. We can walk OK in a light shower, but if it comes a steady rain, we have to get somewhere and get our rain gear on pronto. This time it started to come down pretty heavy. We saw an abandoned building ahead and all but sprinted to get under cover before we got drenched. After suiting up and waiting another 15-20 minutes for the heavy stuff to move through, we headed back out. Five minutes later the sun was out. So at the next convenient place, we stopped again and took off the rain gear. None of this really matters in the big scheme of things; it’s just a pain.
So after all this stopping and starting, we finally got into Bari around 4:00. Bari is the largest Italian city on the Adriatic coast. With an area population of 1.3 million, it is also a Provincial capital. We found a nice little boutique hotel in the city center and will head out for some dinner when the restaurants open around 8:00 PM. Tomorrow we may try another outdoor store for my shoes as we leave town headed further up the coast. So that’s about all for Day 22. We’re still running a day ahead and owe ourselves a day off soon. We’re waiting for a day with some real rain to take a rest. Thanks for following along.