On Thursday, we rode away from Monopoli after saying goodbye to Marco. It was a wonderful visit and we know he has a bright future. Our goal for the day was to get around Bari, a large city with over 300,000 residents and extensive areas of industrial development. We had no concrete destination given the challenges of route finding. Around 2:30 we pulled over to the side of the road to make a plan and a young man noticed us and we struck up a conversation. His name was Vito and he soon invited us into his house and his wife served us some delicious ice tea. They had lived in California and Nevada for two years before returning to Italy. They recommended we stay in Bitetto and helped us get the name of a bed and breakfast.
We had a wonderful time at F.G. Bed and Breakfast. The proprietor fixed us a great dinner and gave us some good tips on selecting Grappa to drink. The next morning, Friday May 13, we had a great breakfast of prosciutto, provolone, and eggs. Then it was time to say goodbye and head for Trani.
On the way to Trani we did some sightseeing at a Neolithic site. The structure pictured is a dolmen, which is a burial chamber. There are four sites with Dolmen in the area south of Trani. We also saw this unusual roadsign; note we are only 3 miles (5 km) from the coast.
The day was going very well until we got into Trani. Then our plan imploded, failed, went out the window, and up in smoke. There was a huge conference in town and every bed and breakfast was booked. In desperation we stopped at a private post office for assistance. They called a hotel that was 2 km back and a room was found. This was the view of Trani as we rode back to the hotel.
One of the best things about our travels to date through the region of Puglia has been the people. You don't need to ask for directions, if you stop by the side of the road someone will stop and give you directions. They will also recommend sights to see and warn you about any road conditions. Today, Saturday May 14, we got an early start and had a great tailwind the whole day.
We rode on a moderately sized road close to the coast all day. Here is the little harbor at Margherita di Savoia. We got into Manfredonia around 4:00 and found a hotel that had been frequently advertised along the road. The Promotorio de Gargano looms above the town; it is the spur like region on the east side of the boot of Italy. It will be our challenge in the coming days.