Sun,sun,sun as we drive the Golfo di Taranto to Massafra

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April 19th 2013
Published: April 20th 2013
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Torre Melissa to Massafra

Gelato flavour of the day - missed out again but that might be good for the waistline

We keep pinching ourselves as the day has started out fine and sunny again and we just hope that it keeps up for us as it is making travel that much more pleasureable.

We had a good nights sleep and although the apartment was close to the SS106 the traffic volumes in the night must have been light as it didn't disturb us.

With the sun on the terrace we moved our table outside and enjoyed breakfast including a boiled egg each,something we have managed to date having done with scrambled egg usually made in the microwave.We didn't have any egg cups so fashioned 'cups'from toilet paper and it worked a treat and we didn't burn our hands while eating the egg!You need to be adaptive on the BBA V2!

We weren't in too much of a hurry as it looks a pretty straightforward run again today so we sat back and watched the dress shop owner across the road as he strolled up and down the footpath waiting for clientale that never arrived while we watched.He even left the shop open while he drove off for about 5 minutes in his car for something.Just like the old days in NZ when you could leave your front door open and not fear being robbed!

We have wanted to post some postcards but the queues we have encountered in the local Post Offices have been long.We thought though that is sleepy Torre Melissa we would be in luck and simply walk in and buy our stamps.Not so!People seemed to be fluffing over transactions and there still 3 more in front of us and after 10minutes and no movement from the two being served when we arrived we gave up.

Heading back to the car we passed a mother with a baby in a pram.The baby was about a year old and two older women(Gretchen had them as sisters)stopped and chatted to the mother while admiring the baby resplendent in an odd looking hat.It was a lovely sight one you don't often see in NZ where older people don't always seem to admire baby's in public.

Before we got Cindy on her way we heard sound coming from loud speakers around the corner and shortly after a ute with a flat deck appeared with clothes attached to rails on the side of the ute.It was a mobile vendor calling the locals down to see what he had to offer to cloth the family.No wonder the guy with the clothes shop didn't have any customers,he needed get out and market his wares on wheels.

It wasn't long before we rounded Punto Alice and now the land to our left was quite flat stretching quite a long way inland before it turned into rolling hillsides not unlike home except we still really haven't seen many animals and certainly not herds of cows or flocks of sheep.

A stop for morning tea just past Mirto Crosia at the beach revealed a view of the inland mountains,the tallest of which was about 2400mtrs and still had a reasonable cover of snow on it.

In the absence of white crosses that we have on the side of the road where there have been road accidents causing death,here they have flowered memorials,some of them rather garish in the colour and size.

The land looked to be quite fertile and heavily pruned olive trees in orchards abounded.Gretchen is convinced we need to prune our olive tree the same way but here the tree branches are much woodier than ours and I am not sure we would have anything left of the tree if she really got stuck into it.

We hadn't seen any 'girls of the road' since the day on the road between Rome and Naples but at Marina Schiavonea they were back in business.Some of them were on their own and in other places there were two of them.Just where they do the business though is a mystery as there are never any houses nearby so perhaps the action happens in the cab of a truck or the back of a car!

Top points goes to the chick with the long legs fully encased in shocking pink tight leggings and the tallest high heeled pink shoes you have ever seen!Talk about K Road !Then there was the African girl who sat with her legs wide open on a chair facing the road!Enough,enough.

Lunchtime stop was below a splendid looking castle tower built on a cliff face above a beach.The castle tower had been renovated and turned into a restaurant with a sign saying 'private for guests only'.The best views however were from the side and below on the beach.After the boot lunch we took a walk along the stony beach and watched birds flying around the tower and entering holes in the wall where they seemed to have nests.

The SS106 now moved slightly inland as the land opened out into a wide plain that also stretched from the coast as far inland as the eye could see.Orchards,vineyards and some market gardens dominated the land along the highway and we commented to each other that this area looked like the most viable we had seen for making use of the land for an income.

We noticed more trucks on the dual laned motorway and at one stage we deciphered the 'BG' initials as being on a truck heading for the port either at Brindisi or Bari to cross the Adriatic and onto Bulgaria.

As we neared the town our accommodation was in,we had to engage Serena(our GPS from NZ) as Vicky wouldn't take the address of the B&B whereas Serena would.While the unit is difficult to attach to the slanted windscreen I was able to hold it and relayed the instructions to Gretchen,the driver at this point.She guided us through part of the town of Massafra and out into the countryside about 2km from town to the B&B which turned out to be fabulous and a great bargain at €27.50 which included breakfast.After last nights €45 we need to get the budget back into balance.

The only small problem we have encountered with B&B's where we have used them there is often no one home as they seem to be run by people who have jobs or live elsewhere and so we have had to telephone to get the owner to open doors or in this case the gate.Still, Walter was there in 5 minutes from his restaurant in the town and showed us to our room in the modern home which was tastefully decorated and had the best bathroom and biggest shower(enough room for 3 !! people had we wanted to)we have had on the BBA V2.

As there was an agent in Massafra for the brand of toaster that we purchased from Auchan, that won't work, we took Serena and found our way on foot to the address in the guarantee booklet only to find that the business was closed and the name on the shop front was different from the one recorded in the book.So we shall have to wait for another town to try and see an agent and there are plenty of them in the book as long as we do it before we leave Italy.

We took a walk through the town which seemed a bit more like one you would find in Greece rather then Italy as the buildings were lower than other towns we have walked around,just 2 or perhaps 3 stories instead of 4 or 5 stories and most of the building were painted white or a light pastel rather then the drab brown which dominates elsewhere.

At a new Penny Market supermarket we purchased tagliatali with mushrooms for dinner and headed back to the B&B.

Before dinner time came around we sat on the terracotta terrace in the early evening sun and enjoyed a glass of rose listening to the doves and chatting with a guy who was also staying at the B&B.The broken English was easy enough to understand and he seemed to enjoy the company as much as we did.


20th April 2013

Drought has broken plenty of rain.
Following your blog sounds like you are both relaxing and enjoying everything so far wish we were there.All ok at the club,plenty of names put forward for committee have fun.
21st April 2013

Great to hear from you,we think about you from time to time when it might be nice at the end of a days travel to have a game of golf croquet but haven't found any clubs or lawns so far!We have read about the rain and it certainly seems very wet.Say hello to everyone when you next get a chance to play.

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