It was great to be able to Skype you this evening. You seem happy and very busy which is great. I hope you have a good Bank Holiday and that you enjoy Westlife in Dublin next week. We look forward to seeing you in Pisa where we’ll be for the first 2 weeks of Augusto, the aeroporto is only about 10 miles from our beachside campsiteo.
I have been a bit remiss on the old reporting lark, so I shall continue the Lake Garda tale. Our first week continued to be very sociable; busy during the day and especially in the evenings with BBQs, copious amounts red wine and a lot chatting. We have made visits to Bardolino, with a boat trip to Lazise and Sirmione – all pretty Italian towns loaded with stacks of history. We’ve also had many laughs with the Motorhome Funsters especially when Clitheroe Brian and Julie nearly got ‘kidnapped’ by a Moroccan family. They got the wrong bus home from Malcesine & went via Verona! By Monday we were saying goodbye to everyone, a group went off to Florence, one motorhome to Siena and Sue made her way home. I would like to say it was a pleasure to meet everyone – Lizzy and Chris, Lucille, Fiona and Dave, Pat and John (thanks for the ACSI CD), Sue (thanks for those early morning coffees), Dane and Hazel, Brizey and Pam, Jan and Pat (thanks for your help mending the trailer lights and all the other useful info) and Brian and Julie (for all the laughs you gave us). It would have been nice to speak with the Hilldwellers but they just didn’t want to mix. Well, I suppose it takes all sorts.
Funny old thing, but we managed to buy a few extra gadgets for the van!. An inverter, 3-pin plug converter, Italian power connector, fan, brush, xmas fairy lights & a few other bits from this great Caravan Shop nearby. The Italians have 3-pin plugs now!! We found a good shop like Lidls, called Pennys, which is brilliant. Really cheap & sells everything – red vino 5L for £3 and we’ve bought enough pasta for the rest of the summer! The shop on site is OK – a bit pricey but we get ice & croissants which is handy. Dad has had a couple of nasty bites – not from mossies and they came up really nastily. Think it must have been a horse fly derivative.
Our local town of Peschiera del Garda held a large market on Monday (we think it might have been a bank holiday) where we spent our time browsing & buying. The old town lies within a star-shaped wall surrounded by turquoise water. In fact on a sunny day, which is most days, the water in Lake Garda appears such a deep azure colour and then by sunset it reflects shades of silver and pale pink. Truly majestic!
Don’t get the idea that we have been lying around in the sun all and every day, in fact, dad and I went off on a 22 mile bike ride (that’s right Laddy!). Mind you, we did choose a rather busy Sunday to do it with loads of families, children and ‘real’ cyclists! Our saving grace was that it was flat and the path runs along the River Mincio out of Peschiera, and quietly meanders through wonderful countryside. We stopped for an Aperol which is the local semi-alcoholic aperitif which is really refreshing. I think we converted most of the Funsters to it.
Dad and I decided to visit Malcesine in the northern part of Lake Garda which is towards to Italian Alps. Although it has the usual ‘touristy’ bits and pieces, it is especially enchanting with it’s labyrinth of old cobbled steep alleyways, at every turn another inviting glimpse of the lake and then finally you are led to 12th century Castello Scaligeri. Towering above Malcesine is Monte Baldo (7275 ft) and we took the rotating cable car to the top which offers nature trails and stunning views. €18 & a 90 minute queue but well worth it. I felt a moment come on me, you know the one, ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music etc.’ but it soon passed….. We stopped for a drink on the way home & saw a 3 foot green snake slithering between us and the water!
We drove in Smartie to visit Desenzano del Garda today and whilst en-route saw a polizia trap looking for vehicles without LIGHTS ON – which is mandatory in Italy – so beware!!!! Desenzano is quite affluent with a nice Duomo & Castello which we explored. Unfortunately on our return to the wag we realised that a thunderstorm was on the way and just had time for lunch & pack away the vitals when down came the rainio with thunder. Not too bad but I think our pitch may become a quagmire if it continues.
Now we shall start to think about next week when we leave for Bologna. Dad has been busy booking various sites along the way to the Adriatic coast and these will include Florence, Siena, various farm/vineyard (of course) stops, but that’s another day. Got the last confirmation today and so we have reservations all the way to Xmas except for a few days in France – but we can sort that later.
Keep smiling Clo, short working week next week – hurrah. Skype soon & see you in Augusto.
M & D
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