Sunday, 20 May 2007

Over the other side to Italy

On reaching Italy – no border guards here either! We stopped at a lovely picnic site to get a closer look at these chaps!

They are ‘marmotti’ or marmots. Explained to us by a lovely Italian man that we met with his daughter Maya in Agliano Terme. He hspoke perfect English with no discernible Italian accent but he did have a slight southern Irish accent as his wife is Irish and they live in Italy and Ireland!

We were knocked out at the amount of splashes of red across the landscape created by the poppies in the fields and roadsides.

Everywhere is very flowery, doesn’t look like they use much herbicides on the land here!

We stopped at a fairly uninspiring camperstop in Borgo San Dalmazzo that was beside a railway and skatepark, but we did manage to fill up with fresh water and dump grey and chemical toilet waste. As Peter was quite tired by the mountain driving and not much sleep at Dalmazzo we stopped at Agliano Terme, North of Cuneo. This was a much better stop; on the other side of the road from a campsite in the countryside in a fenced off car park. Unfortunately both the water and electricity supply had been cut off. Further exploration by Peter (with his ex-fireman’s hat, or should that be helmet, on) revealed that there had been an extremely hot fire in a corner of the car park, which looked like a caravan or camper hooked up to the electricity supply had gone on fire and burned everything to a cinder.

The remaining electricity box had a dead snake and an active wasp nest in it!

We had a lovely relaxing afternoon and evening. As you can see we are getting lovely and tanned and fit!!

Me stuffing my face with olives!!Yum!

We used this picture of Peter to make a get-well card for our French friend Ludwig (Lu-lu) after a phone call from Laurent (Lo-lo) informed us that he had had a heart attack. You just never know do you, he looks so young and fit and healthy.

Willow and Hamish prefer to hide under the ‘van for the shade!

We carried on North via Asti, Allesandria and Piacenza through a very built-up, industrialised landscape virtually without cease and stopped at a camperstop in Soragna. We then carried on via Parma, Bologna (where the satnav lady got us thoroughly lost due to new roadworks!), Faenza and Ravenna on the coast. We stupidly went past San Marino as we did not know then that this one of the smallest states/countries in the world!

Looking for cooler temperatures and to get away from the industrialised flat plain we headed for the mountains again. Peter can’t get enough controlled decent practice!!

We headed for Urbania as we liked the sound of the camperstop behind the old monastery. The sign outside the front of the monastery advises that it has been taken over and restored by the community and is now a centre for music. Indeed the second night we stayed there a jazz band came to practice!

All this and free electricity!

The following day was lovely and warm and breezy so the washing got done and dried!


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