Finally, after a long old slog where pushing the bikes was the only option, and even then I was almost beaten by the almost vertical climb, we could see the track unfolding in front of us.
But we still continued to climb, down for a bit, which was heavenly relief, and then up and up and up again we went. Up for over 100m. But the views were spectacular, and not a soul to be seen, apart from the shepherd with his sheep, goats and dogs.
Serra, as always, looking so pretty in the valley.
The weird clay formations of the calanchi, with the sea on the horizon, never fail to fascinate.
When, at long last, we reached the road and the long, long sweep down, the freedom and the joy of our descent was temporarily broken by an enforced puncture pitstop. Not a bad place for a puncture though.
Although the storm clouds where looking pretty dramatic over the mountains of the Majella in the distance, we had a glorious day of bright, hot, sunshine, empty roads and superb views.
Our ride took a very different turn altogether as we descended into the valley and picked up the river bed of the Alento, which we followed almost all the way back, criss-crossing our way in and out of the river.
At one point, we came across some off-roaders having as much fun on the river bed as we were - I'm not sure who was more surprised to find they were not alone, us or them!
Finally our fun in the cooling river was over, and we were climbing back up the calanchi under the hot hot sun.
But it was worth it.
Great fun we had, skidding and sliding our way back down...