At 7 am Marco's alarm went off, and I woke up in a foggy car with some cramped legs. We simultaneously stepped out into the cold morning air stretched out. Marco and Gianluca resolved that sleeping in the car was not the most comfortable solution, and we drove to a nearby cafe to grab a pastry before heading back to Gioia where they dropped me off at the same place they found me.
I was still incredibly tired, cold, smelly and unshaven and didn't feel much like running. I stumbled over to the train station and went into the waiting room where I slept sitting upright for a couple more hours. Around 10 am the station attendant came in and woke me up.
"Where are you going?"
I got up and went back into town. I felt a little bit more rested, but still thought that it would be a good idea to shower and shave before heading out of town. I got a bite to eat, and after talking with a few people, a woman who ran a bed and breakfast let me in to have a shower and a shave in one of the rooms that hadn't yet been cleaned. It was glorious, and I emerged from the bathroom feeling many times more like a slightly respectable human being. I packed up my smelly clothes and got started on the easy run to Alberobello.
I had seen a picture of the town before, and knew that I was getting close by an increased number of "Trulli," an iconic type of architecture with a coned roof made of stone.
Alberobello is another UNESCO site, and I spent the late afternoon going through the town, walking in and out of various Trulli.
I went to the tourism office to see if they could help me out with a place to stay. I gave them some time to think, and around 8 pm the two girls working the office said that the best thing they could think of was going to the church and giving it a try.
It hadn't worked many times in the past, but around 8:30 I went over to the church and told my story. Before I could finish, a phone call was made and I had a place to sleep and a shower in a nearby church building. The guy who was living in the building made me an huge dinner, and I slept in some sort of classroom/bedroom that was painted with murals from Disney movies.
Next stop Ostuni. Then Brindisi. Then Greece.
11 September 2009