Hi Clo – might be the last post for some time – can’t guarantee WI-FI for a few weeks……..
Y Viva Espana!!! (more of this later)
Well, It really did thunderstorm yesterday (4 Aug). For about an hour the heavens opened & the campsite got overtaken by streams of rainwater & hailstones. We got back just in time from a shopping trip in Smartie as the local roads were becoming flooded & the locals were driving thru the water at high speed.4724 However although we got a bit damp, all the water soaked away within a few hours & today is sunny & dry again. We are so lucky that this van is basically watertight – touch wood.
Got a bit windy last night & about 2pm there was a loud crash & we wondered what had happened. Couldn’t see any damage till this morning. It’s surprising what a noise a pinecone can make when it falls from 30 feet & hits the wag on the roof and then rolls off down the awning! Don’t think there’s a dent hopefully it sounded much worse than it was.
Had the noisy neighbours again last night. Had to ask them at midnight to shut up & go to bed. They were cleaning their rental van for its return today – we presume – as they were cleaning it again this morning from 0630!! I’ll get some sleep tonight hopefully. But if that’s the worst of our problems we shouldn’t complain too much.
Might try to bus it to Pisa town today if the wx holds. And tomorrow is Saturday & the first game on our return journey to the Premiership! Come on you Clarets!!!
Went to the beach today & nearly got washed away by a big wave whilst we were sunning ourselves on the rocks. Got out of there pretty sharpish I can tell you!!
Fulltimers take note!!!
We were chatting, had a secret vote & decided on the items we could not do without & which are really useful:
1st: The sunshades/windbreaks which are on all 3 sides of the wag. Easy to erect, keep the wind out & more importantly, keep the effing mossies out & sort of stop the rain getting in. Brilliantoh. www.mysunshade.co.uk
1st: The anti mossie prit-stick. Bought from any Farmacia- when you get bitten – AND YOU DO…. you just smear the prit-stick on the bite & within minutes it’s GONE…..FAN-bloody-TASTIC! The inventor should get a Nobel Prize.
3rd: The desk fan we bought from the camping shop in Garda. It’s absolutely brilliant in hot sultry weather at night-time & also for keeping cool when cooking. Also low wattage. Who needs Air Con? We’ve survived 43 degs C!
3rd: Skype kit. When we can get on-line its great to be able to chat & SEE Clo. Shirl really looks forward to her chats. Also good for keeping up with other friends & its FREE.
5th: External Electric Cooler Box. Low wattage 26 L cool box for keeping water, wine, soft drinks & veg cool. Especially in the temps of 40C + that we had in Cervia we could not have coped with our van fridge alone. Our milk was yoghurt in 2 days.
6th: The breathable mat which we have on the ground outside the wag. It keeps all sorts of mud, bugs & other muck out of the van. Shirl would go crazy without it. £25 well spent.
7th: I have to top up the water every day as we have a small capacity water tank. I fill up a 25L plastic tank at the tap & then pump it aboard using a 12v pump, pipe & external 12v plug. It would be a nightmare without this.
8th: See 5th. We have limited fridge space & therefore no space for spuds, onions & other veg. The standard cool box just makes everything mouldy – so we bought a €6 veg rack which we leave outside. Veg stays fresh & ants can’t get in.
8th: Plastic plates & paper napkins. Shirl has to do the washing up which is a pain in the arse for her. She has to cart a bowl of plates etc to the washing up area & fight for space & hot water. So to lighten the load we buy plastic plates by the kilo from Shit-Shops. Same for napkins. We use loads and they are about €3 for 200. Bargain.
10th: Basket on the bike. Bought a metal basket for the front of Shirl’s bike. Really useful for carrying stuff to the beach or picking up shopping.
11th: Squeegee. Found a really good Italian style squeegee mop in Livorno. Great for cleaning the mat & the wag. Really absorbent & has got off some bad marks from the roof of the wag.
12th: Butchers hooks. Use them all over the place for hanging stuff from the awning to keep it off the ground. Also for keeping the windbreak curtains up when not needed.
Went to Pisa this morning by bus. Only took 25 minutes. Walked thru the city to the Tower. It’s still leaning.
Burnley 1 Forest 0
A Spanish van ‘pitched-up’ today and we wondered why they would leave Spain. They have no car & since the nearest shop is at least 3kms away they are snookered. Shirl has offered to drive the lady to the supermarket tomorrow. Smartie proves itself.
Might get a free paella when in Barcelona! Looks probable. Spent a very nice evening with Carlos & Maite & their sons chatting in about 5 languages. They’ve asked us to look them up when we are in Barcelona in Sep/Oct. They live in a small village about the size of Foston.
They left this morning ( Tuesday) and are going via Pisa. We went into Tirrenia to get a few essentials – like plastic plates & washing up liquid & aubergines for the BBQ. The humidity & mossies have risen sharply. Got bitten about 10 times in 5 minutes at the WI-FI area last night. But I got my revenge – killed 10!!!
Mum is having her hair done in Tirrenia. She is always nervous about letting strangers do it – but millions of women get their hair done in Europe – so what could go wrong? We’ll see in about 30 mins when she returns!! Mum here – I was well & truly ‘done’. It was a very professional hairdresser and yesterday they quoted me €81, today when I went to make an appointment it was €86 (£70), but nevertheless I stayed and had it done. As luck would have it they had the exact L’Oreal colours I have in England , it took 2 hours and the colour turned out great, but the bill was €115 !!!!! And I paid! I am so ashamed with myself for not standing up and arguing the toss. How spineless can you get? I feel I would have refused to pay if I had been England, but not being able to argue in Italian I felt a bit apprehensive, nevertheless I should have been stronger. I think it will be hair colouring home kits from now on!
Off to Viareggio domani to find the local PENNY’s – a great Lidl type supermarket. About a 45 min drive – but it stops your mother going stir-crazy!
Got to Viareggio with no probs in Smartie. Found the front. It’s a bit like Nice and a bit more upmarket than Tirennia. Got our supplies from Penny’s – still the best supermarket in Italy. Drove along the coast road on the way home and Mum says- ‘look out on the left – there’s a couple of domes sticking up in that village.’ That’s the Leaning Tower, I point out!!
Anyway, off to the beach & look forward to a Skype later today.
M & D
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