My alarm startled me out of my deep sleep and I peeked out under my covers to be greeted with the faint glow of twilight gleaming through my window. I took a moment to think where I was whilst cursing my alarm for waking me up at an ungodly hour. I was here in Basilicata, Italy, and I was staying on the Ionian Coast at Porto Agranauti Resort. The fourteen slices of fresh Italian pizza slices sat heavily on my stomach and I heaved out of bed with a groan. Resisting all attempts to curl back into bed, I splashed my face with cool water and changed into yesterday’s clothes before grabbing my camera as I left my apartment.
The air was thronged with birdsong and I fumbled in my pocket for my bike key as I stared beleaguedly at my fellow friends who stood astride their bikes waiting for me. ‘Sorry,’ I mumbled. Perhaps I was later than I thought. It was five thirty in the morning and I was truly grateful for my sunglasses as the light became brighter, ready to announce the coming of the sun. Jumping on my bike, we set off through the Plaza of Porto Argonauti, along the marine harbour full of rippling sails and down a mysterious beaten path through woodland. The sun was ready to reveal its splendour in ten minutes and there was no time to lose.
Soon, the beachline came suddenly to us, sand stopping my tyres in its tracks. Facing eastward, we could see the purple haze becoming stronger and a ray peeked out of the horizon. Throwing my bike to one side, I stumbled across the beach spraying fine sand everywhere to reach the waterbreak that heralded the Ionian Sea in its glory. Scrambling up, I just made it as the sun rose in its calm blaze washing the sea in its warm colours. My silhouetted friends were there before me, gasping in amazement but I suddenly stopped in my tracks. The last few days had been a whirlwind of an Italian affair and it was all due to these five inspiring travel bloggers who I had the fortune to be travelling with.
I grinned as Beverley of Pack Your Passport exclaim that she didn’t have her camera to hand and rushed back to her bike for her bag. I couldn’t help but be impressed by her confidence and knowledge throughout the ltalian adventure. Her wilful and strong nature could inspire a whole region of troops and I would often look to her for advice.
Brenna of This Battered Suitcase looked serene as she stood basking in the glow. It was the first time I didn’t see her trademark red lipstick on and still yet, she looked as beautiful as ever. I would hang on to her every word as she regaled her previous ten years of travelling in short and inspiring snippets. She would be my destination guru.
The silence of the Ionian coastline was punctuated by the snapping of Neil of Backpacks and Bunkbeds’ camera. He had a huge smile plastered on his face. I came to respect him a lot more on this trip. I saw how he worked. He was my guide in photography and his technical know-how inspired me.
A lone figure wandered off from the water break onto the beach below and sauntered along the surf, eyes fixed on the sun ahead. It was Jess of Fly Away American. Her infectious laughter and cheeky personality could entice any one even bringing about a proclamation of love from an Italian from Bari, the night before. She gave me enthusiasm to blog my own personal thoughts of my adventures in Italy.
Dale from Red Pepper Marketing bounced with his Essex-made enthusiasm, impressed by the view afforded to him, confirming his belief that Basilicata is truly one of the most gorgeous places in the world. Meeting him only three days prior, I became to really like the guy. He was cool, suave and often had me in hysterics. He knows how to give bloggers a good time.
Jumping down to the beach below to join Jess, we wandered closer to the horizon. It was enticing us, drawing us closer to the sea. I could see how mythical Icarus with his wings could be so enthralled before plunging to his death in the Ionian Sea below. The sea called to us, its crystal clear waters lapping so gently on the fine silken sand. I wanted to wade in and be taken to see Poseidon below among the crowd of legendary mermaids.
Soon, the sun was high in the sky, blazing the Earth alight and warmth crept onto our skin. The sunrise was over. I turned back, joined the rest of my friends to our bikes and cycled along the harbour, our tired faces rejuvenated from the special experience today. We whooped and cajoled as we slid in front of our apartments grinding our bikes to a halt. We would be leaving the Italian region later on the day after our morning nap. But me? I took a shower and strode onto my balcony, with only a towel wrapped round my waist, watching the first stirrings of the boats at the harbour start. I felt so relaxed, the tension in my shoulders from the last six months, gone. Leaning on my balcony wall on my elbows, I was prepared to go back home and spread the Italian love.
It was the perfect ending to my Basilicata adventure.
Disclaimer: My trip to Basilicata was organized by Basilicata Tourism as part of their #HelloBasilicata blogger campaign. All content, thoughts and opinions on RexyEdventures are always my own.