Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday 11th January

Left Palermo on Sunday, nothing to report other than pleased to do so. On my way Selinunte where the Temples are. Visited Trapani a lovely old Sea port ancienne and Erich, more Temples!

Had lunch in Trapani on the beach. Bread cheese salad [I cooked] and proceeded on my merry way to Marsala where the fine Sherry and wine is made.

I don't know what I expected. I think in my minds eye I had this vision of an Italian version of a French Châteaux Vineyard, rolling fields, a tasting session or two perhaps, you know something you find in the Bordeaux region. But alas no.

What I found was a vast urban sprawl to the horizon in all directions across the huge salt flats [the other regional product] which I could see from up high as you approach Marsala. I couldn't face that after Palermo, so I turned Silver around and Tonto [Grover] and I beat a hasty retreat.

The first open site I visited was Camping Maggiolino. I don't what it means but if I had to guess I say it was a Proctologists dream site. It is an Agri tourist site supposedly the Italian equivalent of the French Passion free camping scheme, well it was so bad I couldn't move for disbelief that anyone should choose to stay there!

Fortunately no one was about, so once again Tonto and I beat a hasty retreat to another down the road which was lovely. It had a nice restaurant (which was open!) the site was clean and it was 100 yards from the Temples.

In my Best Italian I asked to camp for the night, with electric on a pitch for a motor home for one night and was the restaurant really open? He was listening intently and I thought I've got to say that all over again, but he smiled and said
"Parts of your grammar are a bit slack but despite that you can stay!"

He had lived in England working as a waiter to learn English many years ago. I sat there for half an hour chatting with him and we got on really well. Off to set up camp shower, shave etc then sleep till eight then dinner - what a life.

Beautiful meal, Prawns and funghi with spaghetti proceeded with a lovely anti pasto and the start of a litre of the local vino rosso - a bargain at 19 euros.

Awake early and of to the temples its Monday and they are chuiso but i notice the bar is open. whatever else happens in Italy the Bars are always Aperto yet there seems not to be a drinking culture as in UK.

There was one problem however, some absolute nobber had left their Passport in Palermo - I blame Grover as it's his job to look after me and his specific task to look after the Passport but he's not having that so we agree to disagree on that one.

Even then my host took charge and rang my Hotel in Palermo and got them to send a copy of my passport to him. You cannot stay overnight in Italy without producing your passport and lodging it at reception, why? because the Carabinieri say so.

Sod European regulations and travel free restrictions were Italian. Realised I had not paid him, so I went back but house was locked, the site empty and no post box and its raining buckets, so will post it to him from my next stop.

No comments: