Wednesday 7 May: Pompeii
Up crack of dawn, so we could be at the entrance to Pompeii ruins as soon as they opened. That way we can miss the crowds or at least be one step ahead of them. We managed to spend over 4 hours wandering through all the ruins, we were surprised at how much there was to see. A city of 25,000 wealthy Roman buried by volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius in a.d. 79, and Herculaneum, buried by lava on that same day.
At times it was a bit frustrating to find a street or house gated and locked up but that did mean that when we found an open gate, it made it all the more interesting and integrating. Overall I have to say for €11 each its good value for money and well worth a visit even if some of the places are locked up.
Back in Homer and it looks like we missed the action at Spartacus camping. Remember I told you they rented out the bungalows to prostitutes, well one of the ladies put on a howling show. Apparently the whole campsite could hear her growling, howling, puffing and panting even the owner didn’t know where to put his face. Maybe it was all an act to drum up more business and if so, it certainly worked because the car park was chocka all day.
I gave Peanut a warm shower as directed by Charlie the Spaniel (ourtour.co.uk). Followed by a trimming of the nails and good brushing of his teeth. Clean pooch until he goes and festers under another fluffy blanket. The joys of an owd dawg.
Craig cleaned Homer’s solar panels because some Vesuvius little tweety bird had shit on the panels and it had set rock hard like lava. Poor Craig had to scrub like mad to get the panels clean, so as a treat I gave him a mini man spa- pedicure, manicure and fascial. I wanted to trim his nasal hair but he wasn’t having any of it. Can’t wait until he gets ear hair then I can braid it. I could even add a few beads to give him the hippy look.
After dinner we managed to get the first fast internet access and we seized the opportunity and called my niece and nephew. Their 5 month old little boy, Oliver even gave me a grin or was he just smiling at his mum behind the iPad? It was fab to see them and catch up. I do miss home,
Thursday 8 May: Pompeii to Agropoli
As usual we topped up with water, emptied the dunni and got ready to hit the road. Craig had a chat with his mate Clive on FaceTime for which we must apologies for waking him up. We completely forgot about the time difference and didn’t real it was only 7am in the UK. BTW Clive the diving photo’s look fab – can’t believe the vis.
Gutted we couldn’t drive along the Amalfi Coast (its closed to motorhomes unless you travel between 12 midnight and 7 am when all the commercial wagons travel). Combined with the fact it will be pitch black! Never mind we’ll head to Salerno instead. We said goodbye to Pompeii and headed for the toll road. At the toll road we got completely confused. It wasn’t like any other toll road, it was backwards! Normally you get a ticket on entry and pay on exit. But not this one, you paid €2.1 on entry. Craig went straight for the ticket machine, passing the man in the ticket booth. The little chap shouted him back and Craig looked at him rather perplexed until we realised the ticket machine wouldn’t spit out a ticket. When the penny dropped we nudge Homer back in order to pay the ticket man….scoozee (sorry in Italian) Craig was convinced we’d been jipped and would have to pay again on exit (but we didn’t).
Half an hour and we descended in to Salerno. The sun was out and so the turquoise mediterranean waters against the rugged cliffs looks pretty cool. In the middle of the town was stunning domed church with what looked like mosaic tile roof. Looking back we could see the Amalfi coast and in true Italian style it shimmered its rocks as if to say ‘look at me’. Talk about rubbing it in!
We stopped for lunch and today’s menu…scrambled egg on toast. If Craig cooks anymore eggs I will start bloody clucking or could it be a cunning plan to bung me up! He hates emptying the loo, so maybe it’s his way of getting out of the horrid job. Bellies full we then plodded on down the coast, passed more prostitutes at lay-by’s and abandoned Lidos.
We turned off at Eboli to check out the beach. It looked OK but just as our feet touched the sand, it started to rain. So we piled back in Homer and decided to move on. About 20 minutes down the road we pulled in to a quiet road and there we met a German couple. They too were heading for Sicily. We exchanged our plans and just as the conversation started to flow, a coach load of school children pulled up. God they were noisy. So once again, we piled back in to Homer and tootled on down the coast.
At Paestrum we’d just pulled up at the side of the road when a policeman on motorbike asked us to wait. It was a police escort, who could it be? Craig quickly grabbed his camera thinking he’d see someone famous. Seconds later he was mortified to find a couple of hundred senior cyclist travelling by, slowly of course. Ten days later, we parked up Homer and headed off on the bikes. Walking down the high street was a bride and groom along with a rather plump bridesmaid in a very short, ugly bridesmaids dress. The bride and groom didn’t look very happy maybe its the fact they only had a Maserati to take them to the reception?
Paestrum was only discovered in 1750 when some council guys tried to build a road right on top of it. Only when they started to dig did they find the Greek temples and ruins from around 600 B.C. Anyway, we cycled around town and the ruins before bumping in to Sheila from Norfolk.
Sheila and her husband (Vic) stayed at the same campsite as us in Pompeii and were out on a day trip in their car and yes they went along the Amalfi Coast in their car before you ask. Sheila was laughing because Vic was in a fowl mood. They’d parked the car right at the other side of the town and walked all the way passed the ruins to the entrance at the other side only to be told you need a ticket from a booth near to their car. Vic stomped back to the ticket booth only to find he’d no money, so he went to the car. When he got to the car he found he’d only €10, which is only enough for 1 ticket. Vic was in such a mood, so Sheila let him go in to the ruins, whilst she waited outside. When Vic came out he’d calmed down and after a laugh with us he was back in good spirit. Vic can talk for hours and he did… telling us about his caramel saga…driving through France, Sheila was fast asleep and he was munching on caramels. He got the caramel stuck on his false teeth and no matter what he did he couldn’t get the caramel off, so he took his teeth out and put them to one side. Then all of a sudden the jockey wheel dropped down, waking Sheila up. He quickly pulled over and wound up the jockey wheel before setting back off on their journey. Its only when they arrived in Italy did he realise his teeth were missing. When he jumped out the car to fix the jockey wheel, the teeth were on his knee, so they’d got catapulted in to the bushes.
After Paestrum we drove a few miles down the coastal road to Agropoli were we found Homer a beautiful spot right on the beach for just €2 a night. Its a bit of a lover’s lido with young couples pulling up every 5 minutes for a quick snog and then shooting off again.
This part of the coastline bulges out into a broad mountainous hump of territory known as the Cilento and apparently it is one of the remotest parts of Campania. It is also famous for its buffalo mozzarella so hopefully we’ll be able to find a nice fresh ball in one of the local towns.
Not long after and the German couple from earlier today pulled up. They were going to stay around the headland but Craig reckons they were swingers and off to find a couple willing to participants for the evening. Although not sure this old chap was quite what they were looking for.
Managed to speak to mum on the phone and she sounded really good. It was so nice to hear her voice as missing her like crazy. Glad she’s going on holiday next week it will do her good to get away. Dad’s also booked his holiday and who knows, if we are in Spain at the same time he can treat us to a nice paella.
Craig was just making the nan breads for our evening meal when these two yanks walked over and popped their heads in to the motorhome.“Hey guys do you have 2 minutes”
They were curious about traveling in a motorhome, as they’d often discussed the option. A 1000 questions later and we settled down to eat.
In the evening, watched an amazing sunset right over you guessed it…the blinking Amalfi Coast!