Getting going today was harder than we’d hoped. We spent the morning trying to work out how we’d get to the Saint Bernard Pass on the border of Italy and Suisse (Switzerland) in time to meet Sev and Francois.
We had no luck with the buses and trains, and so we worked out a separate route where we’d go to one of Italy’s most famous island mafia strongholds. But first, our destination was Potenza, a city in the Italian foothills at over 800 meters in elevation, we hoped it would be a little colder.
By the time we cycled out of Bari it was almost 2pm, and almost 35 degrees. We didn’t figure on not being able to find water, so we left with our bottles half full without realizing what was ahead of us.
All afternoon we pedalled hard and seemed to cover little ground. The service stations were all closed. At one service station, which was open, the shop was locked so the attendant gave us some water he had in his car. It was a simple act but improved our mood dramatically.
In the evening we stopped in the city of Altamura and found a supermarket. The altimeter on Sam's watch said 420m - we had been climbing all day. That partly explained why it had seemed so hard.
The sun was setting and we rode furiously to get away from the city and find somewhere to camp. Sam located the perfect spot - under a bridge next to a rail line. There were no houses around and we were looking forward to a quiet night.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia