[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d09: La Costa di Maratea (by Philipp Gesang, location: Ristorante Nettuno)


After I sat down to eat in my tent yesterday, I heard a pop sound and my air matress started deflating. Not good. I had just reached a stretch from where on there are plenty of campsites and had intended to reduce stays at B&B as much as possible. With a broken matress camping is going to be tough so I had to either replace the thing or fix it. Replacing it turns out to be a hard problem: I had ordered that Klymit Ultralight four years ago from the US which obviously isn't an option during my trip. I'd settle for a less qualitative and heavier mattress if I could buy one right now but there don't seem to be any outdoor or sports equipment stores anywhere my itinerary. One "sports shop" I thought was in Scalea turned out to be a sports betting joint, that's how bad things are.

I booked another B&B for tonight so I can try and fix the mattress. The glue that came with it has long dried out so I'll use glue from a bicycle tire kit. I already isolated the culprit, four holes where the inner wall of the mattress has gotten delaminated. So a single patch won't suffice but luckily I got plenty. If that won't work I'm going to have to try my luck in Naples in a few days. There's gotta be a Decathlon or something around there.

The Matarea Coast

On the bike it was one of the harder days today -- 146 km with 1450 m of elevation gain -- that led me out of Calabria and into Basilicata. There I took the coastal road from Scalea to Sapri, a 20 km stretch built into the rocks above the sea that nowadays serves mainly touristic purposes. No wonder, because it is absolutely gorgeous: the road consists of a succession of hairpin turns, bridges, tunnels, climbs and downhills while the Tyrrhenian Sea extends infinitely to the left and the rocks stand 1000+ m tall to the right. About halfway in I passed the eponymous, idyllic town of Matarea, one of those more a vertically layed out settlements.


Leaving Basilicata behind -- it only extends to the western sea for that short Maratea stretch -- I finally entered Campania at the southernmost point of the Salerno province. West of Sapri around the 100 km mark the only monolithic climb of the day started, an approximately eight kilometers road up to the town of Roccagloriosa at around 380 m above sea level. This corner of the Cilento region behind Cape Palinuro is dominated by the solitary Monte Bulgheria that can be made out from far down along the coast.

A former Greek colony, Palinuro looks back on a long history and has even had a character in Virgil's a Aeneis named after it. Today it is mainly known for its beach and the sea panorama. A proper vacation destination most of whose economy consists of tourism. Not quite overrun yet by visitors at this point in early season I could easily get a seat in a pizzeria. The room I booked though is again disappointing; no Wifi and not even toilet paper in the bathroom. Luckily I had bought some TP in the morning and can spare a roll that I didn't intend to carry further on the ride. But for one of the more expensive B&Bs so far that is simply unacceptable.

Now let's see if I can fix that air mattress!


gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail