If you are reading this then it is probably at least Friday, if not Saturday or Sunday. My phone no longer wants to “connect to the data network”. Apologies. You probably all think I have been murdered if you aren’t used to using the Spot tracker link just over there on the left.
Just look at that picture; gorgeous isn’t it? I’m still looking at the real thing as I type. This is the most serene place I have visited on my long trek south. The campsite is rudimentary, but that’s how it seems to work; fantastically peaceful setting = basic (some would say ‘crap’) campsite. But give me one of these at the end of every day and I would never return home, I’d just keep on cycling. Wonderful for the blood pressure….
So, this afternoon. Let’s start with the statistics for Benevento to the Laghi di Monticchio; Cycling time: 6 hrs 56 mins 20 secs
Distance: 115.70 kms
Average speed: 16.6 kms/hr
Maximum speed: 57.9 kms/hr
Eurovelo 5 distance: 3,033.8 kms
Leaving the service station cafe where I had lunch, the road continued along the bottom of the valley. I was never sure which road I was actually on as they numbers indicated on my map never seemed to correspond with those on signs.
Then the first of the day’s climbs started; a gradual one that took me to the top of the valley and the town of Bisaccia. Some people back in the UK dislike wind turbines to the point of obsession. I love the things. I think it is a really positive way in which rural communities can be plugged into the green economy. Every time I am in West Yorkshire I look with pride towards Ovenden Moor at the collection of turbines up there. Bisaccia and its local community leads the way in having embraced the wind turbine; they are gloriously everywhere! All shapes and sizes too. It’s like Strictly Come Wind Turbine up there, all strutting their stuff wanting to impress. Hundreds of the things. It makes me feel embarrassed that I live in a part of England that still only has one wind turbine. Yes, in the whole the southern TV area there is just one solitary turbine; the one next to the Madejski Stadium in Reading. Appalling.
Every climb has a silver lining; the decent. In this case it was a bit rugged, down through the town of Aquilonia which, as far as I could see had no shop where you can buy food. I would have killed for a Mars bar at that point…
And this descent had a nasty sting in the tale; the ascent to the lakes themselves. A gruelling 10 kilometres of switchback roads. Eventually, exhausted, I made it to the volcanic oases in the hills and found my little evening idyl.
Think of the last time you were happy and relaxed and multiply by two. That’s where I am now. Clearly the two bottles of beer help.