Benevento: Sept 30 - jayrose

2014 France / Italy Ride Continued

We had breakfast with some riders we met on the road yesterday; not coincidentally, they stayed at the same hotel…there was only one in the entire town that was open. One of their bikes was unique in that it had a huge tail bag, the likes I’ve never seen before. We questioned the fellow over breakfast about the bag and he shared that he had made it and gave me a demonstration as we packed up; as its outward appearance would suggest, it had a cavernous interior that would hold two helmets and other gear easily. We started off on what would end up as a long series of very small roads today leading us through, mostly, farm land and to one impressive Roman ruin; Saepinum near the small village of Sapino. One of the attractions of the archeological site, aside from its impressive size and restoration, is the fact that it is not easily accessible so there were, gratefully, only two other people there while we were visiting; a lovely experience actually seeing one of these places without the crush of tourists. We passed through large sections of farm land today mostly on very small to tiny sized roads used mostly by the farmers several of whom we met on their tractors as they gazed incredulously at us as we squeezed by. We did get a couple of “thumbs up” from atop the tractors though suggesting that it may be hard to surprise a farmer. We were, a little, surprised though at the amount of tobacco growing here and despite my having stopped smoking some 40 years ago and despising the smell of tobacco smoke, the curing tobacco leaves hanging in the barns smelled good. Sometime toward the late afternoon we decided that we should be making some moves toward finding a place to stay for the night. We consulted the GPS and Ethel chose the place furthest away so we struck off in that direction, but when we got there the place no longer existed so we gassed up and asked the fellow at the station and he sent us down the road to a place we found to our liking so checked in. After a shower and a rest we headed to the restaurant that the hotel guy recommended; ‘it’s the best restaurant in Benevento’. We usually take such recommendations with a ample portion of salt, but the place looked good and we ordered what sounded like promising dishes. We were not disappointed; the food was excellent and, presumably because tourists are a rarity here, we seemed to receive special attention. When we declined desert, they brought a 3 kilo bar of chocolate on a board with a built-in cleaver and a plate of special cookies. The one night we didn’t bring the camera to dinner…. we had some of the chocolate and a cookie and then refused an after dinner drink…they then brought (as a gift from the owner) a glass of something (they told us, but we can’t remember) that was delicious. With that we got the bill (about €30), said our goodbyes and headed back for the hotel thinking that this is not a bad place to travel.