Our last night in the mountains was also extremely windy. After Gran Sasso we actually thought the storm couldn’t be topped, in Aremonga even the drawers opened due to Ingo’s bobbing at night … Not a nice feeling, somehow quite unsettling, and so we were happy to drive towards the Adriatic the next morning.
The destination was the Villagio la Torre campsite near Petacciato, right by the sea. After a sporty driveway (👍 Uwe) over the very narrow, terraced square, we stood on the beach, slightly elevated. Lt. Operator electricity “no problemo”, just the cable connection of our intact cable without large consumers let the fuses fly. 🤔 So solar cell energy is more environmentally friendly anyway.
Uwe was happy to bathe in the Mediterranean again after decades, Lui still found the sea strange and I felt like always – I just can’t do anything with water … 😳. Nevertheless a nice place with relaxed operators and as a stopover in the direction of Gargano (the “spur”) definitely OK.
The next stop was a campsite near Peschici just before Vieste.
The most noteworthy here were the approach and parking in the square. Our navigation system has lured us and three other camper vans on the wrong track. In a mountain village close to our destination, we were supposed to drive into a road closed to trucks and campers. The other three came out of there relatively quickly, we hadn’t even driven in. A nice Italian woman advised us against the alternative route, gesticulating wildly. In the end, a friendly carabinieri helped us with directions that were drivable for us. Once again extremely narrow serpentine roads, on which we also met a truck with a 3-axle trailer – so everything is not so bad … 🤓. Again and again we find that Italian drivers drive extremely courteously, when things get tight, the way is almost always nicely cleared for our Ingo. Thanks! 😀
When we finally got there, the driving ability test really started. With the narrowest parking space we’ve had so far: narrow paths, lots and lots of trees and a sleeping camper who weren’t bothered by the fact that we drove 2 cm past his head. (many greetings to Ika and Günter ✌️). I think we would have given up if it hadn’t been for the groundskeeper, who gave Uwe first-class instructions despite the language barriers. In contrast to him, I would certainly not have climbed a tree to clear a few branches out of the way …
The place itself was OK, but nothing more. We stayed here for two days right by the sea with a beautiful view of Peschici, the second of which was quite rainy. Another day of washing and cleaning.
The further route led us through the Parco nazionale del Gargano. A beautiful route through endless deciduous forests, olive groves and partly unobstructed views of the sea bays.
The first camp site we headed for was too narrow for us after our last experience, so further about 7 km behind Manfredonia to the Lido Salpi. A nicely laid out place with a Swabian groundskeeper from near Neu-Ulm. Long sandy beaches to the right and left – free running zones for Lui. He thinks the beach is really good now, but stays completely away from the sea (very much the “boss” 😎).
We have now decided to try to spend the winter in Sicily. So the path leads south, initially near Andria to Castel del Monte. The castle with its eight towers was built around 1240, probably never completed and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its original function is still puzzled today.
We cleared our first parking space at the foot of the castle after a few hours, the majority of dogs taking care of Ingo (and the adjoining restaurant) was simply too large. Although very relaxed during the day, we weren’t sure what the four house keepers were doing in the evening and at night, mainly because Lui didn’t find our escort funny at all …
A few hundred meters further on, we finally stood next to a very well-frequented restaurant with a beautiful terrace, had an aperitif and slept well despite the overflowing parking lot, which emptied again at night.
Planning the rest of the route was a bit difficult, the parking spaces inland are few and far between, so we will rather orientate ourselves again towards the coast.
But first it went on to Tricarico in the Basilicata region. Through endless arable landscapes, extremely sparsely populated, without petrol stations or other infrastructure, we finally ended up on the Agricampeggio San Tereza.
Very warmly received by Pino, incl. Supplying our own grapes and homemade olive oil, we spent a relaxing afternoon and a quiet night here. The only annoying thing was a little cat that crept around us very stubbornly, meowed in a tour, was constantly lying on the stairs and finally disappeared into Ingo’s engine room. And it wasn’t that she was bad, she was well fed, looked healthy, and obviously belonged to the court.
The next stage led 150 km further south to Lake Sirino. On the way here we saw a biotope in the right lane of the motorway (a construction site overgrown with grass and small bushes …) and experienced the roads in by far the worst condition so far. Asphalt subsidence in an impressive depth of approx. 30-50cm and that again on narrow mountain roads.
The goal was a free urban parking space, nicely located near the lake and surrounded by mountains in the middle of the hiking and skiing area.
Back at the sea, a little south of Scalea, we stood on the Sosta camper “Lido Zio Tom”. Uncle Tom, who is actually called Francesco, welcomed us nicely, the place was once again directly on the sea and on the beach, which was deserted at this time of the year. The most positive thing here was really working WiFi for a change, otherwise a rather simple and outdated place.
We passed the next planned parking space at Falerna without stopping at a slower speed. It was so clearly visible from the street that we also recognized from Ingo: This is not our thing!
A parking space neighbor on Lake Sirino recommended a campsite about 90 km further south, which we then headed for. Through the beautiful landscape of Calabria, we finally ended up at Camping Mimosa near San Fernandino. The ride was interesting. Partly on the coast through tourist resorts, partly over the mountains through smaller towns. But what is always noticeable in this area are a lot of empty and / or dilapidated buildings. Both commercial and residential construction are partly in a desolate state. What makes the whole thing even more depressing, however, is the amount of garbage that is lying around in every parking lot, at many roadsides and on the beach, as well as the street dogs that round off the picture.
After we had passed under a bridge where there was not much room for improvement (the first time to get out and see if it fits …), the last km to the campsite were sometimes so uninviting that we could not imagine were able to land on a beautiful place. The “Mimosa” was then quite nice, a clean island so to speak. Characterized by caravans that were formerly for rent, orange trees in many places, completely fenced off (in the evening to … 😳) and quietly located directly on the stand.
We stayed two nights, used the working WiFi to find out about the ferry connections to Sicily and to do the immigration formalities.
Sicily currently requires a completed and printed self-assessment and online registration on “SiciliaSicura” at least three days before entry. For the ferry we have to use the timetable and the higher prices for the transport industry, Ingo is 20 cm too long for the normal tariff. 🤥.
Our last three days before moving to our winter quarters, we will probably spend on the Area Camper Prajola in Palmi. The pitches on this stretch of coast are few and far between and so the choice is not particularly large. The place is small, simple, but OK. The operators are super nice and we will probably not use the very simple sanitary facilities.
In any case, enough time to carry out technical service to Ingo again, to defrost the refrigerator and to take a few hours of personal care 😉.