Something of a late start today as I was trying to avoid the thunderstorms. It wasn’t long after setting out that I got to practice the putting on and taking off of the pack poncho. While I had it on I felt safer – I suspect October 1 is opening day of the hunting season, and there was no shortage of guys with shotguns walking across fields, and Fiat Pandas with four burly guys in cammo jackets wedged inside.
The official route today was well sign-posted, the best since we left Lazio province on day 9. It was narrow, paved back roads closer to Brindisi, but then they became gravel as we got beyond the range of the weekend hunter-gatherers. One pleasant section in a valley amongst the vineyards would have been a nightmare if the sun hadn’t had thirty minutes to dry off the rain shower. I celebrated the lack of mud by doing some pre-production quality control of the wine. I did, however, miss my Camino buddy, Sam, who is hoping a couple of extra rest days will allow him to recover sufficiently to tackle the final stretch into Santa Maria di Leuca. He and Susan are taking the train to Lecce tomorrow, leaving me to suffer two consecutive days of cafe-less walking.
Tonight I’m in Torchiarolo, which according to Wikipedia, counts tourism as one of it’s three most important economic activities. It’s complete lack of anything that would attract tourists doesn’t recommend the town’s olives and grapes, which are the other economic drivers.