Our plan was to make it to Napoli in time to catch the ferry to Palermo, Sicily at 8pm. It meant riding about 130km, but provided the road went downhill to the coast we would be ok.
The start of the day featured some more uphill sections, but before long we were flying downhill, enjoying the small towns and cool breeze.
We reached Salerno in the early afternoon and realised we wouldn't make it to Napoli in time for the ferry. Looking at our map we decided to go to the national park at Mt Vesuvious and camp there for the night.
From Salerno we rode up a narrow, steep, winding coastal road with hundreds of other vehicles - cars, scooters, motorbikes and trucks... and us. It was crazy how much traffic was on this road! And the drivers did not respect cyclists. They would pull out in front of us, not considering the time it takes a cyclist to brake. We both had close encounters with cars for this reason. We felt more threatened on this road than we had in Asia! Thunder shook the sky and we were worried about a storm.
Following conflicting signs, a map with no detail and the GPS which only had the main roads, we found our way to Pompei, but couldn't find the road to Vesuvious. We spent an hour riding around until we accepted that it was too late - it was getting too dark to continue our journey that day. We found a hotel and walked down the street for some Italian pizza.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia