Day 169 - Rapallo - 18 Aug 10

Published by billkce in the blog billkce's blog. Views: 102

Hi Clo

Nice to chat last night. It started raining in the middle of the night & we have just managed to get all our stuff in dry between thunderstorms. Just the bikes to rack up & car to load & we should be off tomorrow morning (Sat) to Rapallo. 3 more days of ‘bruta’ weather is expected so probably no sun til Tuesday. We are waiting till lunchtime & if no sun appears, today will be officially downgraded from thundery to Dogshit! I think it will be a scrabble and card day today. We were thinking of cycling to a special weekend market at Marina di Pisa this evening and having a pizza, but this has now been downgraded to a campsite ‘porta via’ (take-away) pizza.

I am sure that today there will be a major exodus, especially by the tenters – poor devils; at least we are cosy inside the wag AND DRY! Touch wood! (just found a leak under the Solar Panel – typical). I am now watching this French guy trying to get his table and chairs inside and at the same time taking occasional shelter under one of his opened windows which is all the size of a cornflake packet! Why does he bother, he might as well get on with it as it can’t get any wetter.

Sun appeared at 1200. Thought it might be a suckers gap – but no, blue skies as far as the horizon. Walked to the beach for coffee & then returned to van to dry out & fix awning. Dried out bikes & will cycle into town tonight for the street market. Still aim to depart 0900 domani. Met a nice English couple who are renting a bungalow. She’s really been bitten.

Talk about Friday the 13th – that’s nothing compared to Saturday the 14th!! We left Pisa & the Mad Dutchmen…….Byeeeee…..:shout:

Got up early with thunder rumbling. Van packed & edged out off pitch taken half the hedge & pitch marker sign with me. Drove round camp to pick up Smartie & blocked road till hitched. Set off up towards exit with mum running behind checking we didn’t come unhitched. Get to gate & there is a loud graunching noise. Mums screams stop! As we went up slope to exit, the trailer brake engaged. Tried several times to free it trapped in entrance area blocking entrance to camp. A helpful Pole assisted with freeing cable & we got away at third attempt. I’m not sure if the receptionist was waving goodbye or giving us the forks!

Get onto motorway & its starts raining & thundering. All the way to Rapello. Scenic drive but a continuous climb into the mountains with me doing about 40mph. If it had been a weekday the queue behind us would have gone back to Rome! Anyway, get within 40kms to campsite & still climbing. 30 kms & still climbing. 20 kms & still climbing. I say to mum that I hope we are going to get to low ground soon. 10kms – still mountainous. Get to turnoff surrounded by wooded hillsides!! Drive thru toll and round one-way system to camp entrance. Entrance to camp thru roadworks with 1cm to spare either side & then a 90 degree right turn onto pathway. Still raining. Wag now in front of checking in area. Reception staff sees our wag & car & start shaking their heads. We won’t fit. But it’s easier to let us in than turn us around. We detach Smartie, park it by reception on trailer & squeeze into only slot on campsite that will take us. Next to bogs & Chemical Toilet emptying point and on 45 degree slope! If Bill lies in bed he can gaze at the stars!!! And ……. it’s still raining. Anyway, we set up and Smartie is left in reception till tomorrow.

So, we left the van & walked into Rapallo & had a 2 hour lunch. That solved the problem. And Burnley got a point at Ipswich. Hurrah!

Having said all this about the campsite being FULL over this Italian holiday weekend – a HUGE Dutch Winnebago towing a car just drove in and they moved my Smartie to squeeze him into the reception carpark. Then 3 Italian wags followed him in. They are in the lower car park. Full! You’re having a laugh!:Rofl1:

Set off early into Rapallo to catch the ferry to Portofino & beyond. Weather improved but not enough for the local shipping as all sailings cancelled for the day. So we went up the ‘Clabel-Car’ (sic) to the Monte Allegro monastery at the top of the mountain. Nice views. Cycled back for lunch (going out for dinner to the exceptional Il Buco for La Cena – dinner – got beeped several times cycling home…they don’t do Cervia Cycling here!!!. Dried everything out now & repaired scrapes to wag from pitch post in Tirrenia!!

Domani the ferries – if sea is calm enough for those rugged Italian matelots! Then the treno to the Cinque Terre on Tuesday.

Limited sailing by those intrepid sailors so we caught the 1100 to Portofino via Santa Margarita Di Ligure. Portofino has really gone downhill. Jaded & overpriced with rude waiters sneering over the menu & then over-charging. We left after 30 mins after we had found the Hotel Eden where we stayed in 2002. The copy at Universal is nicer. Saw an impressive boat called Lady Nag Nag. Think it might be Rod Stewart’s.

Santa Margarita is much nicer. Caught the 1315 ferry home in distinctly choppy seas. Found railway station and bought tickets for Cinque Terre tomorrow. Even the ticket seller tried to short change me. When will they learn how much long term damage they are doing themselves by trying to cheat tourists at every turn. Short term gain – long term ruin – as the Spanish are finding out.

Got up early & caught the train to the Cinque Terre. 5 towns built into the craggy coastal rock eons ago as a defence against the invading heathen. Had to walk up the ‘Staircase from Hell’ to get to the first town of Corniglia. At least 5000 steps up to a distinctly average town & 5000 steps down. Thanks, Shirl.

Then we walked 3kms along a rocky coastal path to the next town, Manorola. Well worth it! Then 2 kms to the next town, Riomaggiore, called the Via d’Amore (Walk of Love) – why I’m not quite sure, but doubly worth it and then caught the train home. Good day out, must do it again sometime. :Angry:

Cloudy today, Wed, but mum has to get some washing done before we move on to Imperia tomorrow. They’ve had a really bad August here & many people are cutting their hols short.

Speak on Skype when we can,


M & D:Wink:

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