Chef Georgio Locatelli describes Puglia as "all baroque or breezeblock, with nothing in between". Well we've arrived in Trani, just 33 miles down the coast from Manfredonia and it's a baroque delight; aport town with a harbour enclosed on three sides, the biggest 11th century cathedral in the Adriatic and a real buzz to it that makes you believe that Puglia might just be the next undiscovered location in the Med rather than a down-at-heel cousin with a dirty secret to hide. The old town is made of white limestone and has had some serious money spent upon it to restore former glories.
when we finally got out to sail last week it quickly became obvious there was something wrong with the engine and we diagnosed a rope around the prop- despite the rope cutter. We couldn't sort it so the marina pointed us in the direction of a local diver and on Saturday we motored out to a mooring buoy and he spent half an hour and €100 sawing and working only to tell us it was 'no good' his only words of English. He indicated problems with the sail drive and the keel and we spent the weekend anticipating major problems when the boat was lifted this morning by the very helpful local yard. Luckily there are no serious issues and a little repair work will sort everything out. We have however broken another bow thruster propellor and face a two day delay in that arriving so we've checked ourselves into rather a smart hotel in the town for a couple of nights whilst we wait on DHL.
So we are enjoying shore time, with a sense of having dodged a bullet and some anger at bloody fishermen the world over who discard unwanted ropes and nets and treat the sea as a dustbin.
Yet more rain
And so the rain continues. For five days now we have endured rain and thunderstorms that have kept us mostly inside and certainly on our mooring. It's lucky that we are in no real hurry to go anywhere in the next little while although we had thought we would explore the eastern coast of the Gargano with some long day sails and some lunchtime anchorages by the cliffs, maybe a with little paddle boarding and swimming thrown in. Instead we have been reading and rapidly consuming our store of DVD box sets. There seems to be a reasonable possibility that the new week will bring new weather systems and some badly needed sunshine to Puglia so with luck we can actually sail Lyra rather than just live on her. Hopefully Tuesday. And yes, the local plonk was a step too far. Locals very friendly but we now feel we have explored Manfredonia to its limits.
we are back in Puglia and a mixture of strong sunshine, no wind, laziness and now strong winds and thunderstorms have kept us happily in the marina for a week. We are chilling out and trying to live like locals as we check out the byways of Manfredonia and dodge the rainstorms. Yesterday we had floods of biblical proportions and more rain is forecast for this evening and tomorrow. Shopping daily and visiting the markets is keeping us vaguely busy and there are always small jobs to do on the boat.
We we have today taken the plunge and bought local wine in bulk (admittedly from a rather smart wine shop) but this may be a bridge too far, even at €2 a litre...