After leaving my grandparents house I headed to Bari.
It was a long 4 hours ride under the burning sun with 35 degrees. In the south in Summer it barely rains, which is beautiful when you’re chilling at the beach and can be really exhausting when you’re doing a vespa trip to the south.
After arriving in Bari I took a little tour through the old city, just to get to know the city a bit. Nothing especially beautiful in my opinion, since I already saw many Italian cities. On the next day I went to the beach that my host from Airbnb recommended me, it had a beautiful natural pool and the waves in Bari were pretty strong. There is to add, that Bari has really delicious Panzerottis (fried mini calzones).
On the evenings I drove to Bitonto, a place near Bari, where Roberto awaited me in his huge Crossfit Box. On the way to Bitonto there was a garbage incineration plant which made my drive there really unpleasant, my face always turned like a was biting in a lemon. The guys were really welcoming and on Tuesday night I joined them for the Teamdinner, which was a lot of fun and they gave me the feeling being part of the team. On one sparring session we listened to Italian music which I really appreciated (mostly in Europe you get to listen to Oldschool, new school or pop songs).
I also visited a gym in Bari itself, a tribe jiu jitsu school, led by a brownbelt.
After 3 days I drove to Lecce and well, it happened. My. Vespa. Broke. Down. In the middle of the highway. On 3 o’clock in the afternoon. No shades anywhere. At first I was like: okay, deal with it. After 2 minutes when I sat down to the ground I thougt: This trip is so damn tiring and difficult, I just join my girlfriend on her “Camino de Santiago” and fuck this shit!!
After 15 minutes I reached the first Mechanic on the phone, tellin him my situation and after 1 hour a guy came to take me with my vespa and drove me to the mechanic. Apparently, a cable landed on the exhaust and burned down, nothing fatal luckily. After 4 hours I was again on my way to Lecce.
So after the recent event’s, my motivation was really down and then I saw on facebook the words from BJJ Bitonto, saying that what I’m doing is hard, but you cannot think, that HE IS A GREAT MAN! And that I inspire them for doing my vespa trip and that “I am Jiu Jitsu”. After reading this, I was so thankful and more motivated than ever to finish my trip and take the last hop.
In Lecce I was being hosted from a dutch/Bulgarian couple from couchsurfing. At the beginning I didn’t know what to think about them, but after continuous talking with them for 3 days I really started to love them. We went to the beach together and on the last day they even drove me to the openmat and have a look at what this jiu jitsu thing actually is.
On my second day in Lecce I did a trip to Galipolli, Otranto & Leuca, the 3 last villages in Puglia. The vespa trip took me 4.5 hours & I ate raw seafood for the first time in my life. The fish was delicious, but I like the mussel & oysters rather cooked than raw.
I went to training in the evening and after some sparrings I felt the day I had on my shoulders and on my stomach. I was trying not to vomitate and my head felt like it was 50 degrees hot. For everyone who tries raw seafood for the first time in your life: it’s highly recommended to take it easy that day! :D
On Saturday there was an openmat in an outdoor sports festival at 22:00 in the night. After the openmat we went to dinner till 1:30. Somehow it happens many times, that I join the team right in the moment, where the whole team goes for dinner together. Or Italians usually go often to dinner together and I just happen to be around that time, I don’t know honestly!
After Lecce I stopped one night in Matera. Apparently, Matera is the oldest city in the world, where people still live since 9000 years (I don’t know that, I’m lying to you like they lied to me). Matera is just wonderful, for everyone who’s in the south of Italy, Mater is a must-do! It has also BJJ, but since I was on Sunday there, no training for Christian…