Trying out this new editor from WordPress ..I am amazed at its speedy upload of photos
Sleepy head in Hetty’s big bed
A bit of beach time with The Nana in the rain Princess coach is a big treat for Miss ..She didn’t know I’d packed her Cinderella dress
Paddling with GD.
Me .. Him and Hetty like adventures ..I have travelled to many countries in my other life BJ (before John)
Lots of Indian backpacking trips. .Panning gold in the Yukon..Pacific island hopping ..Far east and so on .
.John won’t go to India but I managed to get him to Morocco and Sri Lanka but didn’t expect a Tsunami. TSUNAMI SRI LANKA
We both love sailing ..I’ve sail for ten years off the South Coast and met John Twenty plenty years ago when I moved back north at our mutual Sailing club Burwain SC on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border
He is an Allotmenteerer having taken over an allotment in Barrowford ..adding a polytunnel.. a green house and lots of raised bed for his produce ..not forgetting the potato growing areas ..Courgettes Carrots and Kale are collected and brought back to my kitchen.. Sound like a few more recipes should be added to the blog … just saying !
Growing a lot of our own food ..We can’t travel with Hetty till autumn as the tomatoes won’t allow it ..
The reason I have been adding lots of stuff to my travelswithhetty.wordpress.com blog is because the company who are the Server of my newly created blog hettyhymer.co.uk are charging me a monthly arm and a leg and I have decided to let it go ..All the new posts like recipes and Fellow Adventurers blogs are from that site ..
I have also updated this site ..Putting posts into categories.. Eg:Italy ..France and all countries travelled .. Recipes from travelling guest Chefs are in categories as well..Just have a search ..I hope you find it easier to navigate
HETTY will be off again soon but at the moment theres too much sailing going on……
I came across Craig and Joanne http://ourbumble.com/about-us when Joanne wanted GPS for sites in Italy.. and we have remained each others Travel Angels since then ..Have a look at their very informative blog
I started following Julie and Jason’s adventures in 2014 pre-our first big trip in Hetty ..We’d been for a couple of weeks at a time touring Europe but this one needed some planning and http://ourtour.co.uk/home/about-us/ helped in having a map of some of the places we wanted to visit..The cry would go up if we couldn’t find anywhere to park “LOOK TO SEE IF OUR TOUR HAS A GPS FOR THIS AREA ” so our thanks go to Julie Jason and Charlie for getting us to Gozo in the Maltese islands and back .. and we were fortunate to have an evening with them in San Sebastien Spain in 2015 on our winter adventure
I found “Heels for Dust”by accident and after I’d dried my eyes ..from laughter at an incident with the loo told so eloquently decided to follow .. Lots of humour and poetry later I still can’t wait for the next episode of the adventure in Maisey Motorhome http://gillandpete.blogspot.co.uk
I use the smallest zipper storage bags for any herbs and spices instead of carrying bottles of herbs n spices around saving on weight
I combine my Targine spices in one bag
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cumin
4 tsp garlic powder
1tsp Ras el Hanout A North African spice mix found in most supermarkets
A pinch of saffron
X as many as you think you will make over the period of time adventuring
Chicken breasts 1per person chopped into bite size pieces or cooked chicken pieces or just Mediterranean veg..PEPPERS AND COURGETTES are perfect
1tbs good olive oil
1 onion chopped finely
A couple of chunks of lemon
About 12 Greek olives
1 green pepper sliced
1 red pepper sliced
1 tin tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube ..dissolved in 0.5 pint water
Salt n black pepper to taste
“Method for Targine al la Hetty Hymer ”
Use large pan with lid and tinfoil
Fry onion in the oil till golden
Fry chicken till brown
Then throw in the rest of the ingredients
Make sure the mix is covered by chicken stock
Cover the pan top with tin foil add the pan lid and simmer for 30 mins without taking the lid or tinfoil off
After 30 mins taste ..add salt n pepper serve with cous cous
A Nearly Greek Gyros
Fill ya face with these bad boy butties Hetty Hymer!
1 x chicken breast cut in to thin strips
Few slices of cucumber, tomato, pepper and onion
4 x Craig’s homemade breads (or pre made pita breads)
Handful of chips
Dollop of Greek plain yogurt (grated garlic optional)
Prep time around 15 minutes
Season the chicken with plenty salt n pepper and then dry fry in nonstick pan.
At the same time, shallow fry a handful of frozen chips
Slightly warm the breads
Arrange on platter
Place a bit of everything on each bread, fold in half, open wide, close your eyes and fill ya face
Another one Hetty Hymer!
Omelettes are a great lunchtime meal and so quick and easy to prepare. Eat plain with a little salt n pepper or choose from one our our favourite fillings
Avocado, Bacon & Cheddar
Crispy bacon, slices of avocado and grated cheese
Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves
Nice and Fresh
Cucumber, natural yogurt and sprinkle of dill
Spinach, onion, crumbled feta and a few olives
Squeeze out the meat from a sausage and add pepper and onion.
Sun dried tomatoes, goats cheese and chives
Exclusive Guest Post for Hetty Hymer! Making motorhome meals – simple, quick and tasty.
THE PELOPONNESE PUFF
1 x ready made puff pastry
1 x garlic
1 x small onion
1 x small tomato
Bit of Feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Turn oven on high
Chop garlic and lightly fry in olive oil until soft. Remove from heat and place in to a bowl
Chop tomato in to small cubes and squeak out any excess water
Chop onion in to thin slices.
Mix garlic, tomato and onions in a dish and season with a few herbs, salt and pepper.
Rub a little butter on oven tray.
Unroll the puff pastry, cut to size of oven tray and place on the tray. Turn up the edges.
Sprinkle base with garlic, onion and tomato mixture
Cube some feta cheese and place on top
Place in the oven for 15 minutes or so until golden.
Accompany with a little side salad
Eat & Enjoy – serves 2 people
When Hetty Hymer met Julie , Jason and Charlie of http://ourtour.co.uk
Recipe – Easy Pizza
Posted on October 3, 2016 by Jason in Motorhome Travels, Recipes
These are great, quick snacks for any time you get the tummy rumbles. Feel free to try your own additions to the basic recipe and pop it in the comments for others to try.
Tortilla wraps (1 or 2 per person)
Grated Cheese (preferably mozzarella – we grab a bag whenever in Lidl!)
Dried Basil and Oregano (or fresh if you have it)
Grab a tortilla and spread tomato puree on one side of it.
Sprinkle cheese on half of the tomatoey side.
Sprinkle basil and oregano on the cheese.
Fold tortilla in half so the cheese is all covered.
Dry fry in a large pan for a couple of minutes on each side, til it goes pale brown.
Eat and repeat until full.
Fluffy flat bread whilst on the go.
No oven required.
I made us a selction of hams and fresh bread the other night and Jo posted a picture on Facebook, well apparently quite a few people want to know the method of making the bread so here goes.
500g bread flour.
Half tea spoon of salt.
2 teaspoons of yeast.
Warm water roughly 350ml
Extra virgin olive oil.
Your can buy some flours with the raising agent already in it like Lidl’s Ciabatta flour.
Mix the flour and salt in a big pan.
Add some warm water to the yeast in a cup and leave for 5 mins to reactivate, If it’s the “Easy Bake” type yeast for bread makers miss this step and chuck it in with the flour and salt.
Mix the flour and yeast/water together.
Add enough extra water until the dough is very pliable, it will be sticky at first.
If it’s too wet add a little more flour and if it’s to stiff and a little more water.
Mix and knead like billy’o for 5 minutes or so.
Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the pan or a bit more if you prefer.
Plonk the dough in the pan and cover with lid.
Leave to rise for an hour or so.
After it’s risen knock it back (knead it again for a minute) and mix in the olive oil left in the pan.
Put a little flour on the table and put a small ball of dough in it and press out into a circle with your finger tips or roll it out until it’s thin enough. Roughly 2-3mm thick. Actually using your fingers is best as you get different thicknesses all over.
Put on one side of the table once flattened & repeat until all the dough is used.
Heat a dry frying pan and place the first flattened circle of dough in and dry fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes. (You can also use the Cadac BBQ with hotplate too if you have one)
It will start getting big bubbles on the surface but leave it until the bottom is slightly brown, turn it over and leave for another minute.
Put the hot breads on a cooling rack or grill tray to cool.
The amounts don’t have to be exact but you must leave it to rise in the pan until the dough roughly doubles in size. I usually let it rise on the dashboard as it’s warm there.
Once the breads are cooked and have cooled, just cover them with a tea towel until your ready to eat.
The same dough can be used for pizzas, nan breads, pittas. Make it a little thicker and cook in the first pan with the lid on for focaccia style bread just cook it on the lowest heat on both sides or fry some garlic in olive oil and dip the bread in or pour a little on top and you have garlic bread.
You can make it with white flour and roll it in another flour for different textures and tastes, try wholemeal flour or semolina for flattening or rolling it out in. The semolina one is especially good for pizza bases.
The dough can be kept in the fridge once made so you can use it over a couple of days.
It’s miles better than the crap flat breads they sell in supermarkets and even most bakers, Plus it’s very cheap to make and dam tasty too.
NB… HETTY HYMER CREW HAVE TRIED AND TESTED ..YUMCIOUS..
The Tuscan scenery has a spare and minimal beauty. The buildings along the way, though few and far between, are very dramatic. This is where hermit millionaires come to reside and you can spot the wealthy mansions. Elegantly perched on a rolling hill with views to die for. The number of cypress trees lining your…
Can be cooked in a slow cooker if on site with leccy..Just leave off the tinfoil ..
This recipe is for a hob top cooker I combine my curry spices in one bag .. if away for 4 month that may be 6 curries ..don’t want to have too good a time
The mix is ..
1tsp Ground coriander
2tsp ground cumin
1tsp Garam masala
1tsp ground chilli powder ( or to your taste )
1tsp garlic powder
4tsp Methi leaf
This mix is for one curry ..for more X by the number of meals you think you will have ..but remember if you have a big bag of spices how many tsps to add to the pot
.. This mix is 13 tsps ..I write on the bag how many to add ..e.g : If I’ve bagged up enough for 6 meals I write 13 on the bag of spices ..remember there will be 78 tsps in the bag and very easy to forget .. Always remembering how many tsp make one curry if all the spices are in ONE bag Recipe
1 onion Sliced into small bits
2tbs sunflower oil
Fry onions till golden in oil
Add your spice mix to a small amount of water ..make a paste
Turn your gas ring to medium
Add the spice paste to the onions and oil and fry for 5 mins stirring ..if it drys out to much add a tiny bit of water
After 5 mins add a little more water and a chicken stock cube ..I use Knorr ..
Add 1 tbs tomato ketchup and 1 tbs tomato purée
Add a drop more water and keep it moist ..
Add cooked meats (chicken ) or veg I throw in a tin of chick peas and let it simmer for 30 mins with lid of tinfoil to keep moisture in ..
DONT let it stick
Season to taste Serve with rice ..I use boiling the bag ..saves on washing up
Add a dollop of plain yogurt to top it off ..yummy
3 LARGE TASTY SAUSAGES (ITALIAN, SPANISH OR ANY WITH A BIT OF CHARACTER)Double up for bigger portions ..
REMOVE SKIN FROM SAUSAGES
MAKE 4 BALLS OUT OF EACH SAUSAGE
OLIVE OIL IN A FRYING PAN.. HEAT
ADD 2 TSP DRIED THYME TO OIL… TURN DOWN TO MEDIUM HEAT
ADD BALLS TO OIL
FRY TILL COOKED
Add to recipe below
JOHN”S BEST PASTA SAUCE EVER
2 TBS GOOD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 LARGE TIN OF PLUM TOMATOES
3 CLOVES OF GARLIC
SQUIRT OF TOM PUREE
1 TBP BASIL
1 TBS ORIGANO
1/2 TSP SUGAR OR SWEETENER
1/2 TSP SALT
A GLUG OF RED WINE
1 TSP BALSAMIC VINAGAR
Olive oil into LARGE frying pan …add crushed garlic
Fry GENTLY till just on the golden spectrum of colour
Drain and keep the tomato juice
Add whole Toms carefully to oil ..it spits ..
Cut each Tom in half
Keep stirring ..
Add wine balsamic salt and sugar
Add saved tom juice
Reduce to a coating texture
Don’t forget to taste
ADD TO ANY PASTA AND ENJOY
We have been following The Bumbles .. Joanne n Craig’s travel blog for a couple of years or more .”The Bumble” bloggers like Jason and Julie of “OurTour” are full time traveller in their Hymer Motorhome
In their lastest blog John ,Myself and Hetty Hymer are the subject of “MEET THE MOTORHOMES”in their wonderful and informative Bumbles blog written as they travel round Europe and last years adventure to the Scandinavian countries
HERE IS A LINK TO HETTY HYMER ..ME AND J’S STORY ON OURBUMBLE BLOG
My son Daniel has built Me, Him and Hetty our own blog site with our own domain ! Click here and use our follow button on the new site .. NEW BLOG SITE
At the moment I haven’t the first idea what I’m doing but it will keep me out of mischief for a while ..
I’ve even got a widget for my Google map of sleepy spots in Europe and the UK layer are being started …and a page for easy camper van friendly recipes
I don’t think the blog will be all about Hetty’s adventures as we are having one soon without Hetty.. The mail boat to the Arctic Circle to try to get a view of the Northern Lights which has been on our wish list ..Thinking we would go up to The Outer Hebrides in Hetty to see them J ended up in hospital with a balance problem and driving so far isn’t recommended . We will fly to Bergen in Norway and board MS THE RICHARD WITH The mail boat /ferry for a 12 day adventure and lots of fish …
I hope you will like our new blog site pretty much the same as this one ..We just hope it will be easier for photos with Daniel being our own web developer with all the know how..
A dull day with an empty beach untill mid afternoon HE went off sailing .. To return 5 hours later ..I read ..not a sitting out day ..nothing much to report .. Didnt see anyone I knew ..took a few photos ..but that night HE got me out of bed to see the shooting stars ..brilliant …a star party on the the beach ..good tunes and shooting stars
A great night was had by one and all at the Squib Prize giving dinner and without any headache / hangover we packed Hetty up ..Thanked our carpark owner for turning a blind eye to our forbidden over night sleep on his land ..
fortunately we have known Griff for 20 years on and off ..and yes the carpark attendant has tried to shift us many times in the past to no avail so I think the blind eye is easier ..saying this we don’t abuse the situation and do buy a weekly parking ticket ..Sadly I can’t add the GPS as its not a valid sleepy spot …Emptied loo at the public toilets by the golf club ..as we use bio washing liquid instead of loo blue its perfectly acceptable.
A very quiet drive to Conwy I suppose as it was Saturday traffic would be heading to the beach not away from it..We had decided to spend the night ..arrived and our parking spot at the marina was occupied by a campervan who even had his leccy wire into the boat park..plugged in..I’m assuming he had a boat as well…if not how cheeky …J went to the pub in the marina to ask if it would be ok to park in their car park ..Yes was the answer as it didn’t belong to them but the Marina so in we went..found a quiet corner…We have eaten in the pub..The Mulberry Inn and had the worst food ever so decided never to darken their doors again..even slated em on trip adviser. My review on trip adviser but a refurbishment has been done..complete makeover ..looking good and I don’t hold grudges long ..After a walk to the beach we did eat there and all was well this time ..
The area around Conwy Marina is a bird sanctury ..an estuary at low tide full of birds and flowers ..boats wending their way up to the harbour and the weather was perfect if a little cloudy
Now off to the Wirrel.. The reason being we needed to find a sleepy spot for an upcoming sailing event ..West Kirby was the destination .. We found a couple of places to park up ..one by a church hall in Newton GPS COORDS 53.368284 -3.154147 and another in a pub car park ..The Cottage Loaf GPS COORDS 53.351516 -3.130882 We asked the landlord and he confirmed we could stay over night if we part took of his hospitality .. perfectly willing to do that ..Another place we had been told was a good over nighter was Wallesy Beach near to New Brighton GPS COORDS 53.434792 -3.073518 Perfect spot
After a wonderful sunset and a very quiet night parked up on the prom ..we woke to a scorcher of a day
Families out for the day
Next stop Crosby beach on Mersey side to have another look at the Gormley Art Instalation “Another Place”
An insight into the creation of this work of art came from a fellow blogger .. I’m sure he wouldn’t be offended if I shared his thoughts on Another Place by Antony Gormley
A family are sleeping on the roof of their car in a tent next to us..you’ve gotta laugh at these resourceful people .. Last year there were two of the surfers who pegged a tent into the Tarmac next to their car ..I think I’d have put my gear in the tent and slept in the car as I used to do back in the early 80’s in my 2CV ..back seat at home and a single mattress thrown in with Great Dane and pot noodles ..off to the lakes …those were the days …
A dull day with soft rain ..The chaps out sailing are lost from view in the mist ..Our first sighting of them was on their return to the moorings after two back to back races ..John and Toby are lying 7 th over all and the hope is they may be able to manage a 5th if their luck holds …A girly chatting day as I caught up on friends news ..We know lots of ppl here as a lot of Burwain SC members headed down to Abersoch in the summer months with their children ..Now retired have houses ..caravans and mobile homes in Abersoch ..spending a lot of the year here ..
Bear Grylls has an island in the bay and turned up to pick up some friends from the beach in his super duper rib ..it’s even got wheels to drive up onto the beach ..most impressive but a point was made by club members as he drove off into the mist he had children on board without life jackets on and as Chief Scout one would have thought he would adhere to the safety rules ..A supper was held in South Carnarvon Yacht Club after sailing with a Spanish theme ..sadly even though the food is delicious weight watcher portions were provided …still hungry John and myself went back to Hetty and Ham and mustard sandwiches were devoured ..and so to bed to fight another day here in The Soch
Perhaps a little retail therapy ..Abersoch has some fine shops and with the weather being inclement perhaps the crowds of people have gone off somewhere else because they are not on the beach
Squib Week in Abersoch seems to be an annual event for us ..He goes sailing with Toby Taylor and I chill usually having driven my Smart4two down in convoy to give us more scope for a bit of wild camping and convenience for John to get to SCYC (South Carnarvonshire Yacht Club) as we camp about 5 miles out… not this year ..exhausted ..I think too much partying (Johns post birthday event )and child minding has blown my energy ..so we hired a small car in Pwhelli after driving here in Hetty on Thursday ..but their insurance won’t cover me to drive it as I’m TOO OLD ..screams ….but I don’t care one way or the other .. I love being here on the beach at Porth Neigwl with the surfers ..
The drive seemed so stress free after the up and up and narrow streets of our last Europe tour …even the main Street in Abersoch held no fear with all the holiday people parking up in ludicrous places ..The sunset as we parked up was another belter …and so to bed after a shop bought pizza and caulslaw ..yum yum .. What a good nights sleep ..so quiet .. No cars whizzing about or drunks walking down the road noisily and the Hymer bed is so much more comfy than ours at home .. Heaven is wild camping ..Friday came and Toby picked J up to go back to Pwhelli to pick up the hire car and then back again to sail the boat over after launching A good breeze got them back to Abersoch in quick sticks ..meanwhile made a curry and I read a whole book ..lovely .. HETTY’S sleepyspot
Classic Hymer arrived .. A big one ..It was Tim and Donna with whom I’d had a conversation with on the classic Hymer Facebook group just the day before ..had a chat and a glass or two .. Next day we had more Hymer people turn up who actually knew us from this blog ..fame at last ..WOW Wall to wall sun shine John had the morning off so a walk on the beach was the order of the day .. Just a couple of people on at 9am .. Perfect ..until the runners started ..a 75 mile race from Pwhelli and back round the Llyn peninsular .. Hells bells I feel tired just writing about it .. We walked for a couple of hours and off he went sailing whilst I sat out to read another book .. OUCH I forgot I hadn’t worn shorts for years .. NO sunscreen on my knees ..a little red to say the least .. He laughed … Good thing I had after sun lotion … Still hummingly hot today .. and very stinging and red … Soft jeans are worn … The day started with a cool wind with cloud but now it’s sunny again but no sitting out without a towel over my very sore knees … Lots of surfers here today
Making a move tomorrow down to Abersoch ..He needs to take the hire car back ..a 8am meet with Toby to take Him back to Pwhelli .. Me I’m having to socialise again ..sighs …up to the car park for the day at SCYC for the late afternoon race and supper in the club .. At least I may get some Wyfy to publish my blog with photos ..fingers crossed ..I complain massively about low or slow Wyfy in Europe well this complaint is about NON NIL Wyfy in Wales ..
After a massive booze shop in the hypermarket Calaise off back to Dunkirk for the 12 midnight ferry which we didn’t have any intention of taking.. We had heard if one books the cheapest time then turn up early you will be able to get any earlier ferry
if there’s room… we payed €46 for the midnight and got the 10pm which was €69 .. and then were treated to the VIP lounge
for free by a lovely young steward who took a liking to us .. Any future cross channel travel will be done in this style .. Coffee Pastries juice and a comfy chair .. and of cause we lapped it up .. A good parking spot was found easily via searchforsites.co.uk on the Dover prom .. Free till 9am .. Only a little noise when other campervans moved off for their early morning crossing .. Up with the lark and on the road before 8am .. Unheard off for us .. Off to Lincoln for a supper with our lovely friends Mick n Jackie and a sleep over at The Railway Inn Thorpe on the Hill which incidently is next to Lincoln Model yacht club .. Yes you’ve guessed HE went to join the sailors for a thrash ( not ) no wind but lots of cake …
Now we have never seen the Humber Bridge so to continue our Travels with Hetty UK style off we go .. A dull day to say the least but again we haven’t travelled through North Lincolnshire before .. Lots to see .. We found a good little parking for a future adventure at a lock by a pub
which would have ticked all the boxes for an overnight stop but we had to get on and over the bridge
We tried to find a sleep spot under the bridge but the parking was difficult and another spot was found by another canal some where near Selby .. Still dull and dreary the next morning
So we are home and cold .. He says its me but I know it’s COLD ..
Next Blog is our expenditure .. As we roll along I keep an account of every thing we spent .. This trip will NOT be in budget but hey ho we only live once …..
This is the beach the British soldiers were rescued from in WW11 …so peaceful now ..A lovely place to end our adventures in Europe ..The sand is flat and hard ..used for land yachting at low tide ..sea fishing ..kite boarding ..horse riding and dog walking although dogs are not allowed on the beach but who bothers with rules in France ..We loved it here ..hopefully to return soon ..
I think J wants one ..
Well He’s happy .its not J ..His physique is much better ……again taking photos of strangers
The Dunes where the Germans had the gun inplacements …
Today we set off for the sea side ..buckets and spades at the ready… The forecast is for an improvement from the recent wet and miserable weather. At breakfast we discovered the fridge was thawing …no problem it’s happened before so I cleaned the jets and our journey would get it cold again from the alternator . Our route took us past a Lidl for some provisions and then through lots of Belgium as we headed north.
Susan hates Belgium …All due to our previous trip in torrential wet weather and constant motorways on the rush home. Today she was pleasantly surprised by some lovely countryside ..Nice villages and interesting houses. All helped by the improving weather. We drove over many cobbles…concrete roads plus some less rattly ones . We also noted lots of places selling cheap fags and tobacco just before passing into France again … Part of this area is famous for the Paris to Rubeux cycle race mainly over cobbles ..from today’s drive they have our sympathy …I can imagine it’s not very good for your piles😂.
On our arrival at Bray Dunes we located the spot used by Jason & Julie of ourtour.co.uk and had a pleasant walk in the dunes before lunch …then we discovered the fridge was not cold so I dismantled it again and during this process was tapped on the shoulder by a local policeman (please move on your not allowed to park here). He handed me a printed sheet with instructions on what was and was not allowed. The parking restrictions change 3 times during the year for our location and its nearby alternative we are too late as it ended in April..it’s not ourtours.co.uk fault as they were here in January at the start of another of their adventures and parking for camping cars was allowed ..
I reassembled the fridge ..We looked at his paper checked out the possibilities and decided to move to a free parking aire just west of Dunkirk about 10 km away as the suggested alternative in a car park in Bray Dunes was not very attractive.
On arrival at the Aire we smiled …Set up Hetty and said this looks very good and “will do nicely”GPS 51.053513 2.414916
The fridge is still not working on battery ..The fuses have now been checked …gas burner cleaned again …Not cold beer drunk whilst reading in the bright sunshine on our deck chairs and fingers crossed that the fridge with wine and beer will be cold tomorrow.
This new site is close to the sea off the road and quiet so as we are not parked under any trees and in bright sunshine we may be here a few days. Tomorrow a walk along the prom towards Town beckons .
Today we made a late decision to move on towards the Channel for some sea ,sand and hopefully some sun. Hetty’s tanks where emptied and water filled at the free aire we have stayed at for the last 2 nights 49.0453 4.03473. A nice quiet place near the canal on the Marne.
The satnav was programmed and off we went at about midday. The weather was overcast and chilly about 20c so with all windows shut and Susan with my fleece wrapped around her toes off we went.
The weather continued fairly similarly for the next hour. Then the sun started to break through and the light actually became worse to drive in due to a glaring haze. S started with a headache and my eyes where hurting so we pulled off at about 14:30 into a likely parking place and I dozed off for a snooze. At 15:00 the church clock chimed would be an inadequate description it was bloody noisy. I dozed off again but 1/2 an hour later it happened again and I realised we would not be able to sleep here tonight as we had thought.
Off we went to our original location by a lake at Valenciennes 50.34995 3.50501 There was the any space available so I patiently waited for a car to move and parked . S started our evening meal and I went for a stroll to check if anything better was available.
When I returned a Spanish Motorhome parked nearby had decided to move and ripped his kitchen window off on the back corner of Hetty. S was not happy( you can probably visualise crossed arms and tapping of foot)
Hetty had only received a minor scuff but the Spaniard was seriously damaged (Armada style repairs where commenced ) with a little assistance from me and lots of gaffer tape his window was reassembled but would never open again but hopefully not fall off.
Dinner simmering but S not anymore . Beer was broken out the spaniard apologised and limped off into the sunset with the sound of thunder like big guns on the horizon
Its been raining for nearly a week and our nights sleep is disturbed by the rattle of the rain on our tin can ..Hetty …we’ve now moved away from any sleepy spot with trees as that’s
worse ..pine cones dropping on us as the rain or the wind becomes stronger ..Not only nuts but the drops collected in said trees crash our sleep ..Now its just continuous patter patter …Saying all this regarding lack of sleep we did catch up the night before last and slept till 11.10 am ..A read at 4am must have sent us off again to catch up on the last few nights lost sleep..The thought now is ear plugs and a sleep mask for early sunrise ..Well dawn as we haven’t seen sun the for days..
Our sleepy spot for the last two days has been on the Marne Canal at the Champagne village of Mareuil-sur-Ay GPS 49.0453 4.03473 which seems closed ..Yes Closed.. Not a drop of Champagne to be had ..Not a bar or wine cave open..There’s a Burger van in shocking pink which turns up on the canal bank at around 6pm but that it ..
The Laird of the Manor has the most well kept gardens and Chateaux making the village look in need of a lick of paint…
My wifi limit has just run out ..Mr McD here I come …no photo today ..boo hoo !!!
I didn’t think I was going to be interested in any thing north of Alsace till we got to the coast . ..It rains every time we hit Northern France and subsequently I couldn’t wait to get going .and I hate Belgium..So still in France HE said what about NANCY …What about Nancy I said …Lets go …ok ..and off we sped yet again over hill and dale ..Up and up but their hairpin are not a patch on Austria’s ..We had a GPS 48.703918 6.176597 for an Aire de camping car ..just a pay €3.50 for 24 hrs ..As you can see from my photos the day didn’t improve and the rain got us on our way back to Hettyand a miles walk into town ..what a surprise ..Nancy is fabulous
Entrance to Nancy old town..pretty fine Eh!
Entrance to the main Square de Stanislas…
Charity bike ride …I photo bomb this lot ..They will be saying when they show the slides ..”Whose that”
Cafe society …main square
One for the ladies …I love taking photos of strangers ..weird or what ??
Just sitting with a glass or two…
Buildings of interest ..
Bike repair shop …very interesting ..5 people fully employed ..
I could live down there …
On our way back to the Aire de Camping car …Got a bit lost but we are here now ..Wondering what to have for supper .
After another peaceful sleep in the carpark at Oberammagau but our need to empty the facilities was getting nearer ..Not worrying too much I went on line as I was still on vodafone network to our very helpful website searchforsites.co.uk which came up with an empty only spot …Ok HE said lets go ..In other countries such as Spain n Italy there are these facilities at Motorway service stations but we have yet to see one in Germany ..This secret sneaky emptying and rubbish dumps up a mountain at 3600 ft was at a Ski village by the look of it and in by the back door went us..Where we found water..an empty service point and bins ..For any one struggling to find a spot like this its at GPS 47.427671 10.94166..and onwards we trot a little lighter to a place called HORN on the shore of Lake Constance on the Swiss side..
Horn …well a bird and a sailboat behind its post …
The drive continued through what we thought to be the high alpine meadows..but even as we dropped down to another valley we were still at 3000 ft..Green lush flower strewn with cows and Ski lifts ..Gamish Partenkirken was one of them and John says its one of the venues for Ski Sunday ont telly ..The sky was over cast with a hint of rain in the air but as we wandered on it became apparent there was a storm brewing ..our excuse to pull off the road in a carpark ..where a nice chap gave us his 24 hour parking ticket so we stayed ..This village was Buhl am Alpsee and the carpark was for tourists going to the lake down below ..No tourists tonight as the heavens opened and the rain came down ..not that we cared we had Fray Bentos Steak n Kid pie ..Mushy peas and Oven roasted potato wedges which is the only solution for a wet Monday night
Just an aside …..The German road signs tickle our infantile sense of humour with Ausfhart which means exit and Einfhart meaning enter …But when we saw a sign to Wesslewang via Wank …well need I say more….
I was getting a little bored with Germany until realising we are just a cat spit away from the Black Forest route …info re: Black Forest Regroup and got my mojo working again ..A TUNE IS CALLED FOR all together La la la la singing “A walk in the Black Forest “ A tune from the 60’s ..Horst Jankowski
John found a new hat ……In Triburg…..Lots of cuckoo clocks ..one the size of a house ..We originally park up for the night opposite this clock but as it cuckoo’d every 15 mins decided to move on .. I wanted to buy my Ruby one but ….Lets start for a decent one at €200…This is the town that had American as the language of the info leaflet …No English ?? But as my cousin twice removed has informed me ..This part of Germany was occupied by the U S of A forces back in the late 40’s post WW2 ..Now I understand but I am still going on about it to John ..
An overnight stay was a hillside carpark with a river to one side and very quiet ..Only us in it but seemed safe enough ..well Im here to tell the tale ..Didn’t see a axe murderer …Its just outside Triberg GPS 48.13596 8.25298..
Wonderful scenery ..lots of trees ..yawns ..Yes Ok its nice but all to clean for me..not even a dead rabbit on the roads …Give me the Mediterranean countries every time and as we crossed the border into France I breathed a sigh of relief ..I don’t know why but I won’t be back any time soon ..We are now in Alsace ..France and going to do the wine trail tomorrow up to Severin …Then where ???
Settling down in our sleepy spot GPS 47.169152 12.812717 (thank to Joanne n Craig for this wild camping position )in the valley below Grossglockner Pass watching the last of the cars ..Bicycles and Motor cycles come over and out through the barriers now unmanned as the last entry was at 19-15..an hour before sunset and with 45 minutes to complete the ride of their lives ..Darkness fell and we settled in for the night only to hear the roar of powerful engines ..In the fading light the noise was coming from what looked like four of the big Lotus sports cars heading through the out barrier the wrong way and off they roared up and up and up ..Breaking the law but lets hope not their necks …Hope they made it over ..and the Police weren’t waiting at the other side ..We believe two young men from the UK where killed a couple of years back ..Too fast perhaps but off the edge they went ..down into the valley ..
Our planned route from here was to go to Salzburg as it was close ..J having been there in his Robin Reliant in the early 70’s …Brave soul ..Konigssee is on this route so off we went to have a look at what I assumed would be a similar lake to Castiglioni del Lago in Italy..quiet n peacefull…But NO !!! Its Bank Holiday Weekend here in Germany as well as Austria and the car park which is a motorhome overnight stay was like FA Cup Final day at Wembley ..Cars and people as far as the eye could see ..OK we said “Let have a walk and a look at the Lake “..31c..phew …Midday sun..typical of us ..The place was like Bowness in the Lakes on our own August Bank Holiday ..Packed ..Sighs ..Past the Tat shops and the long queues for the boat rides up the lake J saw a chalet up and up ..I didn’t have the will to argue with him so off we went up and up ….me lagging …with the pretence of taking photos of the view and the hedgerow flowers ..puff.. pant ..and up again Surprise Surprise ..A beer garden with my name on a pint of lager in the now filling breeze with a lovely view over the massing crowds to Eagles Nest.. The country retreat of Herr Hitler ..High on the top of the far mountain ..and a chat about our next destination ..We try not to hit cities at weekends but some time forget to look what day it is ..Now we realised not only will it be weekend in Salzburg but a Bank holiday as well ..”Not doing that “John says …Thats fine by me as I hate the hassle of city tourism ..its park up.. miles out.. get a bus or a train ..walk for miles to find said bus or train ..Do your city tour ..and walk for miles to find your way back to bus n train ..Phew I feel exhausted just writing about it ..
New route planned ..We will continue along the German Alpine route to Lake Constance ..lots of little place to see and hopefully wild camping places ..Road closed signs to our next destination of Reit Im Winkl..its over another pass and I wondered if the access was still snow bound ..John said NO… Cruising off until we found what looked like a wild camping place ..after a U turn and a double back to a Ski lift car park.. HM already in there ..What luck ..Just keep your eyes peeled and a sleepy spot will be yours GPS 47…798088 12.590017 a place called Maximmianshute in Burgan ..”€4 till 10 am the following morning then pay more ” The Farmers wife said as the thunder started rolling around the mountains and clouds of rain formed ..No BBQ tonight .. A magical fried onion n garlic ..spicy sausage..cooked new potatoes and a tin of beans concoction all in one pan was invented ..Now called Flash Bang Cassoulet..Slept even with the rain pounding Hetty
The route led us to Oberammagau.. A place I heard off in my childhood being brought up a Baptist ..My Mother told us of The PASSION PLAYS performed here every 10 years which was a religious promise by the village in 1634 ..Wonderful views driving down the valleys of green and cows ..Sunny day again and after the rain of the night before clear as a bell ..A parking place was found €7-50 without services as against €25 in the campsite with 40 other big campervans who are on a classic BMW rally ..Early 70’s cars ..and as you know by now we are a two loo cassette family ..A change was made and a promise to find a dumping spot tomorrow ..
Oberammagau is as expected ..Lovely chalet style houses ..Some painted with nursery rhyme characters.. some with religious scenes ..Lots of wood carving shops selling icons and toys .. and A Christmas shop ..Now I know where the Manchester / German Christmas market comes from..Not that I have ever been ..Not my cup of tea ..Crowds I hate em ..but here its lovely ..We actually went in until I got a bit carried away and thought to buy some baubles ..at which point John shunted me out ..
A band was playing somewhere.. So off we popped to have a butchers ..Wow a load of young men in Lederhosen ..Feathers in Tyrollean hats ..Drumming and marching down the main street ..May I say from a ladies point of view the Bavarian males don’t have a lot going for them in the looks department ..but hey ho ..Their Mothers must love em …The Youths marched into the main square and lo and behold a Beerfest was taking place ..Girls in national costume.. An Umpah band ..What a treat ..We sat down at the outdoor table and a couple of Steins of Lager were plonked in front of us by a lovely waitress in her outfit and the band struck up ..Next came the dancers ..Yes !!! It was a slap a my thigh event ..Traditional folk dance ..Thats why the guys wear leather ‘’Chuckles .. 2 pints later we walked back to Hetty for our long promised BBQ
Where tomorrow who knows …
A peaceful night in our free sleepy spot GPS 46.66756 13.035925 with another cuckoo giving it death ..Now we know where all the UK’s cuckcoo’s are..in Italy …There seemed to be lot of immigrants working in this small backwood village ..getting on with life
Very early start and up and up over the Plockenpas ..Hairpin bends and Hetty did em well …Over the top and rock climbers to watch as we had our breakfast …On to Dollach where is we could see the fun beginning with a group of classic Morgans waiting to go for the climb up the Grossglocken pass.. The Romans started this road but it lay hidden until 1930 when a bunch of engineers discovered it and decided to create an alpine pass ..Its a 30 miles drive …There was the Munich Chapter of the Hells Angels preparing ..and lots of cyclists ..I wondered at the mentality ..its a 7000 ft climb and more ..
We could see the pass I said shall we do it now or wait …He said lets do it …so off to the Toll booth and parted with €35 and got a brochure and a window sticker to say we had done it ..cant put it on as yet …
There are not enough superlative to describe this adventure …up and up ..more hairpins …more up and and when you thought you were up there was more up and up ..Porsch ..Lotus ..Spider with the driver togged out like the Stig from Top Gear and Hetty ..all these beefy cars doing the drive as it was a bank holiday for Germany and Austria ..
As we came down the other side it was a tad hair raising as Hetty had to assume 1st and 2nd gear ..braking with the engine to save her brakes ..or so John said ..but a safe landing and only seeing one motorbike in the wall ..The area at the bottom was a magical valley of spring flowers so we said “Ok lets stay here “and we did …
Venice done …our plan was to go to down to Split in Croatia and back via Lake Bled Slovenia…This route could have been done but at break neck speed …So….We are now up in the mountains at Cavazzo Carnico with the Cornic Alps one side and the Julian Alps the other side ..in front Gailtaler Alpen ..sort of surrounded by mountains in an Alpine village with touquoise lakes near by … We are on our way to The Grossglockner High Alpine Pass in Austria Link to Grossglockner Pass ..People say a once in a lifetime trip ..we will see….just hope the weather holds out ..if not we have the time to wait …
Our last day in Venice was a meander .. A couple of Titians He opted not to go to the Doges Palace ..There’s only so much canvas one can ooh n aar over …So much more pleasing to the eye than the modern art of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Link to Collection of the Mondays outing …A couple drew my eye ..of cause The Salvador Dali’s… She owned two…..The rest ..Pollock and his school leave me yawning …quote of the day “I can do them “..but back to yesterday A tub of Grom ice cream …and a thunderstorm ..I hate thunderstorms ..The ferry back to Punta Sabionni was a bit of a bun fight I got squashed by the Mother Union and battled em off with mi shawl …phew … Don’t mess with me …
John say the holiday aspect to this trip in now over and we are back to our normal travels …no more restaurants ..and large museum fees ..tonight’s sleepy spot by a mountain stream is free …Tomorrow lots of up an up and hairpin bends..eeeeeek!
We have decided to save a little money as we have been splashing it about a bit recently with entry fees and lunches out in Venice. The campsite we are on is expensive and even more so due to German holidays adding a premium to rate as well. As we have now completed our mammoth washing pile so after 3 days we are free to move.
We are going to the field nearly next door although still more than we like to pay is over 10 Euros a day cheaper. All our equipment was packed away last night and after breakfast we emptied our wastes and washed out our tanks and drove next door.
I set out our table and chairs plugged into the power and we are ready for another day in Venice. So off to the Vaporetto and we have decided to visit A book shop not your ordinary book shop but one that displays books in Boats and Baths to try to reduce the damage when Venice floods
This is apparently not totally succesful as they are using damp books as stepping stones and stair cases. The book shop took a bit of locating but was very interesting once we arrived. S took lots of photos and we then strolled off only to find we had been very close to the shop the other day.
Beer and lunch(Pizza) was taken in the square just in front of the amazing facade of the hospital. We watch water taxis and gondoliers depositing rich people and listen to some choirs in uniforms and strange toga style clothing singing in the square ( we assume there may be a choral competition taking place).
After a lazy lunch we caught the vaporetto to the cemetery Island and had a very interesting but warm stroll amongst the graves and family mausoleums. We observed some plainer crosses in regimented lines and thought they may be WW2 or WW1 soldiers but then found they where actually Nuns graves.
On the return Vaporetto from Cemetery to St Marks the waterbus followed a different route to any we had previously taken, to the cruise liners terminal and back down the main (Large) canal very interesting. S took many photos BUT wordpress is being a nightmare to upload ..
Having now gained experience of Venetians vaporetto boarding style we managed to get prime outside seats for the return to Punta Sabbione.
After our stroll to the new Aire we felt the need for more beer and sat in the evening sun and chatted with a Brit who had moved to Canada 30 years ago having been driven out of the UK by Maggy Thatchers policies. He had been welcomed into Canada to work as a toolmaker and later had set up a successful business. He and his second wife had travelled across the Atlantic via a cruise (about £1000 each for 18 days) and then hired a camper in Germany and was taking a leisurely trip around Europe. He had not tried any Wild camping in Europe and we gave him some pointers and links to several web sites plus good places to visit for the rest of his trip.
Tomorrow rain is forecast and we are having a maintenance morning toe nail trimming etc and we plan a late afternoon and evening in Venice.
I have to add my photos uploaded to face book as the wordpress photo system again has let me down
We arrived here 4 days ago after an awful thunder storm .John a migraine attack ..and thanks to who ever said to drink an ice cold glass of water to relieve the eye flashes ..It worked and off we went into Venice ..Again as last time the wrong way ..but we turned before the police turn us and off to the Lido Di Jesolo area at Punta Sabbioni and Miramar camping ..which had put up prices because of the German school holidays to €39 ..The most expensive camp site ever ..We move today to one next door at €20 per night
We tried a FaceTime call to Daniel on his birthday only to have the call cut by lightning …I hate Thunder Storms with a vengence…But the sun shone again on the Friday ..We had decided to take it easy in our wanderings and use our 7 day Vaperetto / water bus pass but again that didn’t happen and after two days one at San Marco’s and area ..walking as far as the hospital and its glorious facade ..Saturday a boat trip in the blazing heat to Burano ..then Murano for my birthday present of another Troll bead for my bangle ..and a lovely birthday lunch at B Resturant ..worth a visit just to view the floor ..tiny glass picture in the stone flags ..by the time we returned our feet didn’t know us ..
Today we head for the Cemetery on Isola San di Michele as we have heard its a place to see …so off we go ..and a look at the book shop ” Aqua Alta ” which has its stock on boat to save them from the flooding
Our treat today is lunch at this very special farm up in the Tuscan Hills LA VIALLA at about 1000ft above sea level ..12-30 for a 1pm lunch and yes there is a place to park a camper van over night ..
Wandering up hill we came across the farm yard with some people sitting out having coffee and were welcomed by one of the staff who told us to have a look around if we wanted before going up the hill to the farmstead where Aperitifs would be served pre lunch ..
The produce to buy and to have shipped home is all made here ..The wood ovens for the biscuits and breads ..The sauce makers busy at work
The girls packing up orders to send to UK or I should think any where in the world ..if an order is over £75 its free shipping and this amount is very easily achieved ..
I first came across this place thanks to my Daughter in Law who gave us a hamper last Christmas …The food outlet is so well managed and publicised it would be rude not to buy the wine , olive oil and honey..we stopped at that ..until He saw the honey and I saw the pasta ..hey ho ..
The start of proceedings was outdoor sampling of all the sparkling wines with canapés of salamis .. olives.. cheeses.. pizza nibbles “Hic”
As its not the height of the season with lots of sun and rain had been predicted we were invite into the farmhouse which was set outwit red checked table clothes for around 50 people ..mostly from Germany ..our table companions were Fritz and Petra from Austria
with Johan and Maria for The Netherlands both couples spoke the most perfect English so it was a very chatty meal ..We started off with pate ..a new ricotta ..insulata ..peperoni..something with artichokes on it ..
Second was Pappardelle with an olive and capperi sauce
That was followed by Lamb roasted in rosemary and garlic ..John didn’t have this as he hates Lamb..but it was served with lots of toasty potatoes and carrots( He had that instead)
Followed by Crostini con Marmellata ..Cantucei e Viallini and coffee
During this feast there were four wines..two bottle red and two white ..and pudding wine called Vinsanto and a Grappa (Italian Brandy) served ..Double “HIC”Im so glad we had Hetty in the MH park as driving would have been very dangerous ..my motto is Don’t go up that road were all the drunk came down at about 5pm ..most did drive!!!!
Now to order our swag ..a case of cloudy unfiltered spumoni for Daniel who birthday it is on 19th May …baby pasta for Ruby and a bottle of new pressed olive oil for Lauren
For us is one case of red ..one of white..a pasta I like a lot called Pici ..I can’t find it in the UK ..One bottle olive oil and honey setting me back around £200..Well we are only here once and as John likes to say there aren’t any pockets in shrouds ..
Me looking lost in the wine cellar ..just ordering my swag
Fun today as we headed back to Castiglione del Lago this massive and I mean massive MH..The size of a single decker bus Motor Home drove into the paid for parking bays ..moved about a bit ..No he wasn’t happy with the pitch ..so off he went ..As did we when my chicken curry was ready in the slow cooker which was on free leccy thnx to the very nice French man..Off we went to our other free parking spot we had used two years ago..Down the narrow street nearly touching the windowsills of houses only to find the German single decker is here ..taking up 4 of the 7 pitches ..How he got down the road I will never know ..Why ?… Because at the other place the trees obscured the signal to his satellite dish and he wanted to watch the News he said !!!!!
A french guy in a camper van has just given us his ticket for free parking with leccy ..He had 6 hours left on it ..Now we are parked up in Castiglione Del Lago ..On the lake side with a curry bubbling away in my slow cooker ..well it would be rude not to make the most of free leccy ..This area is layed out for camper vans on the lake side John says there is space with electricity for 36 vans and another 30 without power GPS 43.123585 12.050433..but only three here now ..Italians are back to work
Yesterdays visit and overnight stop in Montepuliciano GPS 43.096059 11.788025 was a great success ..the carpark for camper vans easy to find with not a narrow street to be driven up ..€10 for 24 hours and well worth it as we were in a quiet area and managed to get a good nights sleep
its took a while and a German and John to puzzle out the machine …J looking bewildered
It was then walking trainers on and up and up again to the top of the town featured as the square in the film NEW MOON part of the Twilight Series
It’s not as hard a climb as some Italian villages are ..with lots of stops to enjoy the view and not too much puffing and panting ..Fabulous food and wine shops to pop in to for a free tasting session ..they are never free as out we came with a jar of topping for brochette at an outstanding cost of €12..But as we say we are only here once ..Twice at the lake as were here two years ago at a great parking place about 10 Km to the north Thnx to J&J of OUR TOUR fame..GPS 43.18408 12.02396 Then there was free leccy and camping ..this time the electricity isn’t there and there was a sign in Italian we think saying only 1 hours parking but we ignored it and stayed over night anyway ..NOT moved on ..
The well in the mail square plus an old Etruscan sitting on the steps Perfect Tuscan scenery even though the clouds kept coming and going …
Tomorrow we are off for a lunch and overnight at Fattoria la Vialla …This place is from where Lauren and Daniel had our Italian food hamper sent fro Christmas last year..The food and wine were so good we decided to make a call here and have lunch at the farm house ..see the next blog for all the story
Having no success logging onto the ferry web booking site I decided to head for the ferry terminal at Palermo ( susan said that they did not run ) but I programmed in the ferry terminal as the map said they did…
The journey went quite well until the police closed the road in the middle of Palermo on our route. So turn left and we hit the one way system then it became chaos lots of twists and turns wth Susan frequently saying not enough room to proceed. With parked/abandoned cars plus fruit and veg stalls everywhere. We managed to squeeze through lots of impossible gaps silly car and moped manoeuvres and suicidal pedestrians, finally we managed to find the main road again. Then at the ferry terminal gates we were waved past to another entrance which we could not find. In frustration I abandoned Hetty Italian style potentially blocking several vehicles and legged it to a visible port security guard he gave me directions, but when I drove in he said directions only by foot, but pointed out somewhere to park..
In the GNV office I was told the ferry had left and the next was on Sunday. Back to Hetty apologised to Susan for not believing her …and set off for Termini Imerese ..where they said ferries ran most days.Then the fun started on the road… a dustbin wagon was coming the other way stopping and blocking the opposite side of the road every 20m or so with no opportunity for it to be passed . Our outward bound lane was being frequently blocked by cars and mopeds trying to force a way into the immobile lane. Eventually traffic freed up and we found the motorway and calm prevailed again.
Arriving at the port we initially struggled to find the ferry offices..we could see the big ferry was in. The one we saw in Genoa in 2014 ..La Splendid by name but these GNV ferries are NOT splendid ..a bit rough around the edges but they get you there …Locating the office by asking a local pizza restaurant chef I was able to book passage for tonight with cabin. Queueing to board starts at 23:30 for departure at 02:00 for a we think 14 hour trip. We have parked had a beer and are now in the pizza restaurant for some food before we pack our bags for the ferry….Returned to the ferry to start queuing only to find the boat is broken and not moving till Tuesday. I was told the alternative was to go back to Palermo to catch the midnight ferry to Genoa or tomorrow evening to Naples. I asked for a refund as we will decide after a few beers and a sleep …where to go next…Found a sleepy spot in a carpark near to the terminal 37.98749, 13.70147
A circuit of Mt Etna was on the cards ..The route up to the Lava flow of 2002 passing through such towns as Randazzo.. Bronte Lord Nelson and Bronte and Adrano
The peak of Mt Etna is covered in snow and very pretty in today’s sunshine the clinging mist of yesterday washed away by last nights downpour ..That’s another story as HE slept through it but ever been in a tin box with rain so hard it sounded like its was dinting the roof of Hetty ..I DIDNT sleep through it !!!!.Our next port of call was to be Palazzo Adriano ..The location in the film “Cinama Paradiso ” which was somewhat adventurous at 250k but after getting a bit lost which is not completely lost ..John decide enough was enough and headed for the free motorway ..back to Catania and into the hills again on a decent road ..and a decision made and the belly button of Sicily is our next destination and an over night stop in Enna but before arriving we had shower gel incontinuance due to height from sea level to 3000 ft ..hair pin bends and second gear ..Up and Up and Up over such bad road surfaces …the fire extinguisher bounced off the wall taking with it the fixture for the rubbish bin and then the hanging rail in the wardrobe fell off dumping all the clothes on the floor ..yup rough roads !!!
These people don’t hit you but come very close — be aggressive and go for it or you will still be at the Juction waiting for some one to let you out ..and it’s not gonna happen !!!!
Hair pin bends up to 3000ft ..but what a lovely unspoilt non tourist town ..so high it makes your ears whistle …I took a lot of what I thought as interesting photo ..off down an ally to take a pic of an unused ancient church and WOLLOP a bird as big as an Albertros shat on me from a great hight ….covered …what a mess …need a washing machine for all my clothes ..even camera case got it
Back to Hetty to a New moon before the cloud came down ..giving us a form of fog but it’s clouds ..can’t see your hand in front of you but we are cosy in Hetty on the parking area next to the Castle Lombardio ..and Tomorrow is Palazzo Adriana and Cinama Paradiso
Photos will arrive on this post when internet is not playing at silly so and so..sighs ..the Bain of my life slow uploads
This morning we departed Jonio Camping at Catania leaving several campervans lusting over our superb pitch where we stayed for the last 2 days. We emptied Hetty’s tanks paid and departed. €15 per night ..I had plumbed into the sat nav our next location to allow us to visit Taormina as we where frustrated by super expensive parking last time we were here in 2014.As we trundled on our way having taken the non toll road we passed through lots of towns with a superb view of Etna ..some causing Susan to clench her buttocks ( not that it made Hetty any slimmer) due to narrow roads and typical Italian parking ( in the UK it would be called abandoning). As it was Saturday there was quite a lot of poorly parked/abandoned vehicles plus quite a few kamikaze cyclists. So lots of clenching was done by Susan. She called it sphincter exercise …
Taormina from the town square
Arriving in Giardini Naxos but we could not get to our chosen camp site which was Eden Park but we could see it . So I took a roundabout route and dived into a different one (before we located Eden which was our first choice )but this one called Parking Lagani looks very clean and tidy and is €15 so Ok and is only 50m from from Eden we later discovered.
After our lunch and a chat with one of the site people for information about bus times we walked to the bus terminal bought our tickets €3 each and where whisked away by our chariot. I am very impressed with the way he drove us to Taormina negotiating the narrow roads and very twisty roads with many 180 deg bends and abandoned cars with aplomb and an occasional gentle honk .Arriving at our destination we strolled up and up to reach the target of the Greco Teatro… very impressively perched at the top of a hill surrounded by luxurious hotels ,Restaurants, The town and many tat shops and lookylooky men .
I enjoyed wandering around the impressive archeological site ,Susan’s comment was just another pile of stones 🙅🏻.She is not an archeological person ..says it leaves her cold ..
Following our walk around the Greek edifice we strolled into town which was also very nice when we moved away from the main tourist route .We had Tea and Cannolo for afternoon tea and strolled back down the hill to catch our bus back down to sea level …Taormina is about 400m above the sea (no danger of global warming flooding here).Now we are relaxing with a strong vodka and tonic and planning tomorrow’s adventure but via the toll road this time.
Cannolo bottom right hand …The sweet pastry which killed the mafia boss in The Godfather
Some time John comes out with one-liners which mostly go over my head and I give him a look “What are you on about”..This one..Blossom Deary entered my understanding instantly as the perfume from the central reservation invaded my sensors “JASMINE”There are bushes of jasmine planted on the duel carriageway giving off their exotic perfume in the heat of the midday sun as we wander up the east coast from our overnight sleepy spot in Syracuse GPS 37.066072 15.291403 now the free parking spot for two German ladies in a younger Hymer than our Hetty who we met on the beach at Noto marina a few days back ..they are delighted to get a free parking spot ..
I thought our destination was Giardini Naxos for our trip up to Taormina today but John has found this campsite just north of Catania called Campo Jonio and having all the facilities we require .Loo emptying Water filling Washing machines and our own pitch overlooking the volcanic coast on the Ionion Sea cheap in these part at only €15..GPS 37.53180 15.12024 with Mt Etna to the west snow and cloud capped today …She’s quiet at the moment and I can’t see any smoke but in the 17th C the Catania area was completely wiped out with the worst eruption in her life .There have been plenty more but only minor ones some seen by Emma in Gozo who complains bitterly about volcanic ash on her washing
A peaceful nights sleep at our little harbour near Ognina GPS 36.979548 15.258044 and an easy drive to Syracuse ..Is it because we have been here before ?..It didnt seem so easy an entry into the city last time ..Found our carpark of choice empty ..park any where €24 per day ..ouch …J spies a couple of older vans nearer the harbour …magic ..it’s free there so one of the hippy boys in the old campervans told him so off we go ..that was easy ..this was probably due to our arrival being late in the afternoon at the end of an Italian public holiday and workers where out of town ..All sorted ready for a beer and supper of smoked salmon fillets ,new potatoes and fresh green beans ..and we are on Ortygia Island, The ancient part of the city of Syracuse ready for our next outing of our celebrations tomorrow which is Star Wars Day ..May 4th and my birthday and our wedding anniversary ..
Hetty and John on the harbour in Syracuse …
Syracuse is one of my favourite cities ..it’s easy with its traffic free narrow lanes and ancient buildings now restored to their full glory ..The Piazza Duomo with its Roman Catholic Cathedral in a golden Baroque veneer built on the original Greek Temple and converted into a church so it’s told, by St Paul….it’s Greek pillars still part of the main wall ..Small cafes fill the edge of the square ..but not for us as it HOT and for our lunch we need a little shade ..we are wanderers ..down every interesting alley looking for nothing in particular we came across a Carravagio in a little church.. painted after the artist left Malta in 1608. See link Painting we found ..
Eventually we decided to have lunch and found a shaded courtyard with sun awnings to keep us cool ..Trattoria Kalliope A sea food starter for me ..John A Sicilian platter ..he’s more daring than me with food ..next a pasta dish for me ..fishy again ..and squid for John …a cheap half litre of cold white wine ..€55.Another wander looking a designer clothes on our way back to Hetty ..a relaxe and a read and that’s about it ..lovely cards from family and a chat with Miss Ruby on FaceTime who sang Happy Birthday to me ..lovely day