Now I’ve had time to recover from the journey and can think about it from the peace and tranquility of Lamorna. What memories stand out the most?
- Duna is a natural traveller and curled up at the passengers feet with hardly a moment of restlessness.
- Camping is wonderful and even the most basic places give you the joy of waking to the sound of birds and the smell of grass.
- Hard ground, sleeping on a slope which rolls you downhill, neighbours who noisily leave at 6am, changing campsite (and sometimes country) every day, drunk Italians who piss over a wall only feet from your pillow(see below), thunderstorms which create a pool outside your door……. all just add to the experience. Yet, a hook on the door of the campsite loos can make you almost cry with relief.
- The best toilets were in a Swiss site, the worst in Italy
If you are trying to find the nearest baker it’s best not to ask with a dog bowl in your hand. The well dressed Italian lady shuddered and mumbled “No grazie”. It took me a moment to realised she thought I was begging.
Mid August is not the best time to cross the Alps going north. We spent three hours in a traffic jam getting more and more nervous about the Gotthard Tunnel which is 17km long.
It reminded me of trying to drive into Cornwall on a Saturday in August.
Our other major traffic jam was crossing the border from France into Italy – we had forgotten it was market day in Ventimiglia.
After August 14th, that magical date when French and Italian people go back to work, all the campsites emptied out and in Chalons -Sur-Marne we shared a site with a few people from the UK. The van opposite had a Cornish sticker and it turned out the people were from Penzance. This came in useful later the next day when we were driving north and realised Duna’s lead was still hanging on the bush. We rang the site and asked the owner to pass it on the couple whose names we didn’t know but who had told us they drink coffee every Saturday in Renaissance Cafe.
And finally,for now, I learnt that although my friend Tiffany said GPS can save relationships, it can also send them into meltdown.
In 100 metres Turn Right, TURN RIGHT (OK OK I am) …..Recalculating, recalculating !!!!!
Next posts – The Etruscans, Duna goes to London, and anything else I remember from the trip!