A UNESCO World Heritage site this place was the setting for Mel Gibson's 'The passions of the Christ' and you can see why.
It was a little like walking around the 'Life of Brian' set!
"He's a very naughty boy..."
So all was good in southern Italy... And then I went to bed...
I woke up at about 4 am and just made it to the toilet in time - both ends. No idea why but I'd caught food poisoning or at least a bug. I went back to sleep until 7 hoping it would go away. Especially as I'd spent the evening planning my 5 days back to the UK and booking my ferry. I've got a couple of reasonably long days ahead ( especially in this heat) and was planning on riding around the bit of Italy that sticks out like a 'spur' above the heel.
I took some imodium, paracetamol and drank as much water as I could and set off. Two hours later I pulled in to a Lidl to buy some fluids. I got a litre of mixed juice, with bits!!!
Then I felt really faint. I sat down by Heidi, in the shade and sort of dozed off for an hour but I could feel I wasn't well and my stomach was really giving me jip. I drank some more juice.
But I took the decision NOT to detour round the 'spur' bit. It would add at least 3 hours to my journey and all I wanted to do was find a toilet and bed.
I headed for the toll road as I wanted to get as far north on safe well paved roads without having to ride through town centres in 30+C. It was the right decision.
An hour in I pulled over and drank some more juice and then set off again. Overtaking a lorry I knew I was in trouble. My stomach was telling me the juice wanted to come back up and I needed to pull over. I just made it.
I didn't even have time to get off the bike. I pulled up on the hard shoulder, just had time to lift my helmet up and, there is no other way of saying it, projectile vomited. Leaning over I tried to miss Heidi and my trousers/ boot. I managed to miss Heidi.
I threw up four times, quite violently and some came up through my nose. I was really regretting getting the juice with 'bits'!
But I had to carry on, I was on a motorway and had to ride to the next service station which was, thankfully, only 20 minutes away.
I bought, and drank, 2 litres of water.
It took me 7 hours in the heat to cover 200 miles today. I never want to repeat that experience.
Now I'm sat in an expensive, non-descript hotel in a beachside town called Pescara. I got here at 4 pm took the first place that had room and fell asleep for three hours. I still feel shit but hope tomorrow will be better.
There, thought you should know. Had I not made it across the carriageway I can just imagine the police finding my body and saying " Well, we're not sure why he crashed but his helmet is full of sick ;)
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.