The next morning, we got up late. it was 10 AM and we were already late for breakfast. By the time we were packed and ready to leave, it was already noon. We wanted to take some video shots and more pictures before leaving which we started to do.
I was interrupted by some official calls and for the next one hour, I was forced to be on the phone managing work remotely. Finally, at about 1:15 PM, we bid adieu to Pescocostanzo and started our ride. Today, we were headed for Matera which we had read a lot about.
Matera was a good 450 Kilometers away and we did not have the luxury of taking the inner roads. At the nearest fuel station, Sunny set the GPS to the fastest route which brings the Autostrada into the picture. It was another 80 Kilometers from Pescocostanzo before we reached the Autostrada! the roads kept curving and taking us through inner roads where there was construction work., the progress was slow.
We started coming across farmland where the crop had probably been harvested already and the hay was tightly rolled into huge cylinders! It was too tempting to resist and we stopped for a photo session with these hay stacks.
Shortly into the photo session, A BMW rider stopped and started talking to us. He had been in India (south) way back in 90′s (seems like so long ago the 90′s). He gave us some tips about being careful in Sicily and Napoli and we duly made a video recording of the same for our upcoming production.
Finally we hit the autostrada and it was speed riding thereafter. Nothing spectacular for the next 300 Kilometers except that it was a constant high speed run and we took breaks after every 100 Kilometers at a fuel station.
At each stop, Sunny would duly go into the shop at each one of these and buy some more models of bikes … I could not help but smile at each of these times. There was one notable exception.. Adriatic Sea appeared and stretched into the horizon on our left. The water was a mixed hue of many blues and sea green. We had stopped at one place and took some shots.
We took one wrong turn and started heading towards Napoli…. we realized this after about 8 kilometers and so took a u turn to continue our journey.. Soon thereafter, the road turned and we exited the Autostrada and started towards Matera.. This road felt like the one we take from Chandigarh towards Kalka… detours, construction and roadwork was everywhere and the progress was slow.. The only difference was that the traffic was intense but orderly and people respected rules much more than on our roads!
We finally arrived in Matera and the GPS took us to Hotel Del Campo, our home for the night without any problems.. We had arrived by 7 PM which was early by the trip standards. We dumped our gear into the room and changed. Then we had a long chat with the receptionist who was a kind hearted soul and even offered to bring us to the vista point at 11 PM after his shift got over if we wanted. He also strangely recommended us to take a Guide for the tour of the ancient city which he insisted we would not be able to see on our own. He organized an english speaking one for us and set the time a 7 AM pickup.
We still had some time so we went to eat dinner at a restaurant he had booked a seat for us. We had yummy spicy pizza and pasta and sat there till 10:30 PM. When we returned to the hotel, we realized how tired we were and excused ourselves from the 11PM trip.
Then we sat at our computers and I typed this blog.. Sunny worked on his pictures and all the other things he normally works on each night! We again slept at about 2 AM..