Monday, 28 May 2012

From Barcelona to Tehran: Day 27

Day 27: From Pompeii to Capaccio Scallo  in Italy

May 26, 2012; Distance covered today: 117 Km; Total: 1734 Km

Naples and the towns surrounding it are covered with garbage. As I was cycling from Pompeii to different towns, I could see mountains of garbage everywhere. Now I understand why people do not recycle or put the garbage in a garbage bag: because it actually doesn’t matter; no one collects them anyway. 
Garbage Everywere
Beautiful landscape murdered by garbage

The first couple of hours of my ride was really bad: garbage everywhere, lots of potholes, headwind, and crazy drivers. What else do you need to ruin a ride? After two hours or so, I reached Salerno, where I rode along the coast again, and the streets were better according to Italian standard. Early afternoon, I had only flat roads soon I reached 85 Km when I decided to have lunch. I had some bread, cheese, nuts and dates. I continued toward Eboli where I could decide whether to cut across Italy there or cycle even further south. In Eboli, I did some rough calculation and realized that there isn’t much of a difference if I cycle south specially since I was told this part of Italy was really beautiful. Besides, there were a lot of campgrounds along the coast. 

At about 6:30, I started to look for campgrounds. The first one had only a big sign; the camp itself didn’t exist. The second and third were not operating yet. The fourth did not allow campers with a  tent!!! I had already wasted a good hour looking for campgrounds. I decided to go into the bush. I filled my water bottles and another two litter bottle, then I hit the road and kept my eyes open for possible places to spend the night. It was getting dark. I needed to find one fast. Also, there were a couple of villages in the next 10 Km. I found one on the slope of the mountain/hill where there actually was an olive garden. It was kind of hard to take the bike and the bags down the hill especially since you should do it so fast that no one sees you. As I was taking the stuff down, it started to rain. With the water I had, I washed myself—mini shower, then I decided not to cook. I didn’t want to attract animals. I only opened a can of tuna and had it with bread. Then I put the empty can in two plastic bags and tied it tight to keep the smell in.
The Spot Where I spent the Night
I was getting ready to sleep when I heard snorts or something like that some 5 meters down the hill. I also heard heavy steps of moving. I was absolutely sure there was a big animal, most probably a bore. I took out my knife, which is nothing but a Leatherman Wave 2 and listened. The sound was getting closer and closer, then I took out my Iphone and played rock music loud for a few seconds. I didn’t want the farmer’s dogs to come and find me. Then I stopped the music and listened. I heard the sound was going away. Then the dogs were going crazy—barking like they had seen a ghost. 

It took me a while to kick the excitement/fear out of my system and calm down to sleep. I was drifted in and out of sleep. I saw a nightmare about my tent being torn apart by a storm. I woke up a couple of times and fell asleep. 

In the middle of the night, I woke up to the loudest thunder claps I had ever heard in my life. A storm had just started. The nightmare I had just seen was actually going to happen! The wind was pushing one side of the tent so hard that I thought I should wear my rain gear to get ready for a night out after my tent being torn apart. The rain… so much that I could hear water falls coming down from the hills. Oh My God! I was so afraid of being washed away by a flood. I was calming myself down thinking that thunder storms do not last long; they are fierce but short. I was wrong.  This one kept at it full speed.
After an hour of storm, it got downgraded to rain. I fell asleep.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you survived the night :). BTW, my knee is pretty good, thank you for asking...