Days 19 and 20: Rest and Road Adventures

As I write these words, the ship has already set sail! Yesterday was all about rest until 4 PM, followed by a relaxing day at the beach in Vlore. After an easy ferry trip, I began planning my route to Rome, aiming to avoid toll roads and seek out some curvy routes. Tires are meant to be fully utilized, not discarded with fresh rubber on the sides. We bought them to use them up!

Table of Contents

Welcome back, 2wheeler ladies and gents! Today we are in for a double entry on the motorcycle diary. Days 19 and 20.

No, we are not reaching for a word record count on this logbook chapter or even for the warming up to a book about this adventure. The fact of the matter is that the 19th day was spent partly resting and waiting for the ferry to Bari, and of course on the ferry ride itself. While all that doesn’t seem that exciting, it served its purposes.

For clarity, I’ll refer to day 19 as yesterday.

Day 19: Resting in Vlore and Ferry to Bari

As I write these words, the ship has already set sail! What better time than this to catch up with the writing and sharing of what’s been going on these couple of days?

As promised myself, yesterday was all about rest until 4 PM. As you might remember, I reached Vlore on the last leg of our journey, and that is where I decided to stay until the time approached to catch the ferry to Bari. Now, as there are no ferries to Italy from Vlore, I had to account for at least one hour and a half of ride time to Durres. That gave me almost the entire morning and part of the afternoon to enjoy some moments of relaxation.

And so it went.

Breakfast on a seaside terrace: €2 for a ham and cheese toast and a cappuccino. A bit pricey, I know, but we are right by the sea!

Next, beach time—hours of it. Naps on the beach, swims, more naps… What a great choice to do a late check-out and stay here to relax before continuing the journey.

After that, it was time to start moving. I got everything ready and left at 5 PM to arrive in Durres by 6:30 PM for check-in and to be one of the first to board.

As for the trip itself, the best way to explain it is this:

  • It started, was boring, and then it ended. Easy.

And that’s another ferry, arriving in Bari the next day at 8 AM.

As the day ended in my cabin on the ferry from Durres to Bari, I began planning my route to Rome. I’m aiming to avoid toll roads and seek out some curvy routes. Straight lines might be good for rulers, but we riders crave curves! Tires are meant to be fully utilized, not discarded with fresh rubber on the sides. We bought them to use them up!

Let’s dive into the next day, shall we?

Day 20: From Bari to Civitavecchia

Arriving in Bari, I thought to myself, “Today, to break the monotony of all these boats, let’s ride along the national road to Civitavecchia…” It might take a few more hours, but I came here to ride my yellow stallion, and as such, highways in Italy, aside from being expensive, are a real bore. Actually, they are boring in any country.

To sum it up, I endured about 1.5 hours on the national road and felt like I was closer to having several accidents than in 20 days of travel, most of them spent in Turkey.

Italy is a charming country with wonderful cities and landscapes, but I confess that, for me, the North is much more beautiful and, above all, much cleaner and more civilized than the South. No offense intended to southern Italian folks… I’m just being truthful.

In Southern Italy, either we’re seeking a specific destination as I did on the way here, where we find beautiful villages and landscapes, or if it’s just about hitting the local N1 or any national road to connect one city to another, let’s just say it’s not for me.

Trash everywhere on the road, by the roadside, off the road, very nervous drivers anxious to gain one more spot on their way to someplace urgent, surely…

After 1.5 hours, I gave in and decided to change course and take the highway to Civitavecchia. I was more tired from driving this mini journey from Bari to Foggia (approximately) than from 20 days and 9000 km traveled through countries like Turkey and Albania.

If it weren’t for missing my family and eventually having to work, I’d turn back right away!

With that said, I decided to go for the highway and pay €30 in tolls and €2.13 per liter of gasoline. Did I mention I’d turn back?

I arrived in Civitavecchia, spent some time at the marina, and ended up going through check-in and waiting for boarding right at the port.

Meanwhile, these waits are always conducive to encounters. On the way here I met Mel with his Portuguese license plate, now once again a Portuguese license plate, and yet again no one Portuguese but me.

I met Tom, a Dutchman living where? In Coimbra, practically next to Mel! If the world isn’t small, I don’t know…

A few Spanish friends, who are always passionate about two wheels, and a good conversation. With all the encounters and conversations, the time to rest appeared out of nowhere, but I guess that’s what happens when you find good company along the way.

Tomorrow or the day after, I still have to figure out how to manage the day—or night in this case—since the arrival in Barcelona is at 10 PM. Either way, it’s 1250 km back home.

Stay tuned for the final chapter of this adventure. See you soon!

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