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Eastern Balkans Trip - Day 14 - Italy

Blogging at 22:00 on Monday 1st August from intended overnighting spot N 41.56175°, E 14.33241° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:41.56175%2C14.33241

The horrendous noise I spoke of last night continued long after we'd gone to bed. The wretched dogs just never shut up at all and the middle-of-nowhere cafe / bar music was still going strong at 1.00am. This is the undoubtedly the most bespoiled-by-noise country we've ever encountered.

Today's mainly been about visiting the Cassino Military Cemetery as a nod to Emma's great uncle Johnny, who is formally memorialised there having perished during WWII during the allied forces' preparation to face the Germans on Italian soil in 1943. He was 21. It's the first and only time any family has visited.

The rest of the day has been about covering ground and surviving the relentless heat. It's once again been hovering around the 38 deg C mark.

Emma ran amongst the long shadows of the morning before the real heat of the day kicked in (pic) and I biked in the short shadows of this afternoon in an effort to suss out the intended overnighting spot where we're now sitting. Like yesterday, we're using altitude to seek out marginally cooler conditions.

I tried to find somewhere as far away from settlements as possible, and succeeded to some degree: yet still the relentless barking of dogs emanates from all points of the compass. How the residents tolerate this all-pervesive blight is beyond me.

On a more positive note I went for a wander through some meadows adjacent to the overnighting spot and saw quite a few interesting things including: black redstart, cirl bunting, spotted flycatcher (I think, anyway), clouded yellow butterflies, violet carpenter bees and a few more butterfly species I couldn't readily ID.

It's been the most productive place to this point in Italy for wildlife sightings. It's fair to say that fauna of all descriptions has been pretty illusive; it's been thin pickings. Birds and mammals have been pretty scarce.

It might make a good research project to work out the relationship, if any, between the prevalence of noise and the distribution of some key species.

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