The day started perfect. We had a private tour of one of the best pasta factories in Puglia, Marelli Pasta. It was an incredible experience to see behind the scenes of such a prominent pasta company, the company that invented multiple-color pasta. It had rained early in the morning but seemed to be letting up so we were very hopeful as we said goodbye to our hosts and started on our way to Noci, Alberobello and finally to Martina Franca.
Less than 15 minutes on the road and the rain returned, and soon it became steady. Several things happen with us when it rains: all touring plans are discarded, we find the the most direct route, and there is no stopping. New route plans were quickly developed and unfortunately that meant biking on much busier, but more direct roads. All the roads in Puglia have been much more hilly than we expected, so the combination of rolling hills, busy roads, a steady rain and sub-50 degree temperatures made for a challenging day!
My husband was a great pace setter, always steady and strong. We rode hard because it actually helped us stay warm. We were happy that we had the right rain gear as it helped us get through the day. We were also happy to have reservations at a beautiful hotel that night in Martina Franca as we really earned it. The thought of a hot bath and nice dinner got us through the day.
We have been lucky in our bike travels and rarely encounter rainy days. We are hoping that this will be our only rainy day this trip!