Ups and downs

Trip Start Apr 24, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Sunday, June 15, 2008

So, where to start!? Well, we had a fantastic time in the hot springs in Saturnia, once I'd got over gagging at the stink of rotten eggs and chilled out about the millions of little red maggoty worm things and just relaxed it felt divine. Lena wanted to try a more vigorously bubbly pool so in we got, it felt great, Lena tried getting into the flow for a stronger pummelling, before long she needed rescuing from an unwanted white water slide where she didn't quite lose her pants but did get her knee trapped in a rock (the scab has only just healed!), the flow of the water was so strong I was pulling as hard as I could but the only thing that was budging was her pants being pulled down by the water, I found it hard to stop laughing enough to find the strength, it was really scary for a moment when the seriousness of the situation dawned, somehow found the strength, after that we settled down in a nice big pool of not so fast flowing bubbles and had a great jacuzzi. My bikini still smells of it tho and I'm beginning to wonder if it'll ever come out.

We've stayed in a few fortified hilltop towns that are full of amazing architecture and twisting mazes of little alleyways, arches and stairs with such beautiful imaginative gardens and lots of cats. Decided to skip Rome, didn't seem like the best plan in the van to brave the horrors of capital city driving, especially seeing as the weather had turned all hot and sunny. Found a great beach not far south of there and had some brilliant boarding sessions there with lovely warm sea and endless perfect easy ride waves. No wet suit needed at all!! It was hard to drag myself away from there. Had an interesting drive thru Napoli where it seemed to be a visible divide between the richer north and the poorer south of the country, lots of run down resorts empty flats and heaps of rubbish piled up by the bins, not sure if there's a strike on or if that's normal. There were loads of mental cobbled streets, that seemed to be the three lane main road and would then suddenly just turn back into one lane, cars and mopeds overtaking from every direction. Following what we are sure was the main road down towards the south we kept ending up suddenly in tiny little streets in the sprawl of villages that blended end to end for miles, one of them was so tight only inches in it, had flags out and seemed to be having a big fiesta were all smiley and wavey which felt like such a refreshing change.

We had a bit of a rude awakening the next morning when we parked up to go for a swim to cool off. Scruff was a bit unwell and trying to be sick on a pile of broken bottles, I stood on a piece of glass that went straight through my shoe and into my foot. All in all the place felt a bit dodgy somehow. We went off for a swim all the same, had to walk thru beautiful shady woodland, that was all strewn with rubbish out onto a luscious sandy beach. Had a lovely morning just enjoying the beach. Went back to van a couple of hours later ready to hit the road again only to discover we'd been broken into. They'd just forced the door, popped the locks right off. Strangely nothing was gone apart from Lena's little bag but we didn't realise that til much later. We reckon they must have been disturbed (either that or they thought our stuff was all pooh and not worth nicking ;)) We felt awful, it was such a shock we felt so insecure, like anyone could just walk in the van whenever they chose.

We found a campsite a few miles further on to stay in so that we'd feel a bit safer while I fixed the locks. Somehow we got stuck in a rut there and ended up staying for a week, which was a really bizarre thing to do but it meant we got to meet Simon and Dianne a lovely couple from Bradford, who had just come over on the ferry from Greece. The way they described it sounded like so much fun we started thinking that maybe we'd find nicer, safer parkups there (Robbery type crimes are so low in Greece they practically unheard of). I went for a cycle with them to visit the ruins at Paestum which was quite impressive, there were both Greek and roman ruins, 3 massive pillared temples, arena/ theatre and other general housing remains, it amazed me that it was still standing so intact after all this time. Turned out to be a lot further than any of us thought it would be - 14 miles! Think that's the furthest I've cycled in a long time, if ever, as if that wasn't enough the next day Lena and I went in search of shops and internet and cycled probably nearly as far again, didn't find net though.

The campsite also had a fantastic massive pool which Lena made great use of for her daily swims, there was a fenced in track leading to the beach on which had a big black snake cross our path, twice! Was quite thrilling but also a little scary knowing Scruff's not encountered them before didn't want him to think it was a cool stick. We also met 'Patch' an adorable pup about 6 or 8 months old who we realised was getting thinner by the day, I couldn't bear it so started to give her some food and water, she was absolutely infested with ticks, I've never seen anything like it. I put some of Scruff's Frontline tic and flea stuff on her in the hopes that if she didn't look so mangy and infested she might find a new home. It broke my heart leaving her there, she had such a lovely spirit but there was no way I could think to make it work bringing her with us - it takes at least 6 months to get the pet passport. On a happier note the 2 tiny puppies that Lena saw one morning dumped in a box down the same track had found a home by lunchtime.




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