Day 51 Rome to Pozzuoli

fullsizeoutput_447dHoward, Oscar and myself heaved a collective sigh of relief as we drove out of Rome, and what is the madness of their driving. It was much more straightforward leaving. We chose to ignore Natasha completely, and go with Boris, who was basically leading us away from the Ancient city on a dead straight Roman road – perfect. We hit the motorway and headed southwards in the direction of Naples. We were already noticing a marked difference in the driving style between the Italians, and the Spanish and Portuguese, the latter of whom, in retrospect, had been incredibly courteous and patient with us. So we chose to hug the slow lane behind lorries for most of the journey, deciding this was the safer option. Both satnavs, at separate times, warned us of snow blizzards ahead, but there was no snow in evidence by the time we progressed to that part of the route. We stopped briefly at some motorway services for fuel and a comfort break. Howard declared he had experienced the most revolting (and expensive) cup of coffee of the trip, and I was less than pleased to discover that the toilets were mixed sex – a first. The Italians also seem not to go in for toilet seats – even in the Vatican City, which frankly could well afford them, had decided that they were an unnecessary extravagance. But we’ve seen plenty worse in our time, and were looking forward to the next part of our trip. The weather improved a little as we drove further south, and for the first time in days, the sun peeked through. The countryside was starting to open up, with mountains to our left, and olive groves mainly on the right.
We had booked, or so we thought, a campsite on the coast just below Naples, which sits in the crater of an extinct volcano. It had rave reviews on our camping App, even with a restaurant, and we were looking forward to spending two nights there. We found it easily enough, but were puzzled as to why, when I pressed the buzzer at the gate and spoke, no-one replied. A helpful shopkeeper stepped from across the road to inform me that it wasn’t open. Ah – that would explain why they hadn’t replied to our email, Howard concluded! This was not an uncommon occurrence, I am guessing, since the shopkeeper then helpfully directed us to the next nearest open campsite 7km down the road, proclaiming it be good. I have little doubt that he is friends with the owner! So we duly found the said campsite – it is indeed open, but it is probably the scruffiest campsite we have come across to date, and appears to be situated in the middle of a large noisy roundabout! To add insult to injury, there appears to be no hot water and the internet doesn’t work. We have opted to stay tonight since it is getting dark, but we will move on down the coast tomorrow and hopefully find somewhere better. In the meantime, Howard and I are consoling ourselves with a large Caorrun and lots of chocolate. I leave you with Howard expressing his distaste!

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