This morning, much to the delight of our German neighbours, I gave Oscar a wash. This was partly prompted by our fellow campers, who seemed to spend large parts of their time polishing and preening their big whites. But at least it resulted in an approving smile from next door, once we had got the lad up to scratch with the other camper vans on the site! Talk about peer pressure! Howard, on the other hand, completely disgraced himself by taking 45 minutes to fold up the pop up tent we had brought with us, and that was only after Googling instructions with an accompanying video on You-Tube. We had only used it once before in Scotland, and had left the instructions behind. Howard had erected it yesterday to store the cover and hook up wire, to save packing them again whilst we were out for the day. Needless to say, it caused great delight to our fellow campers as they sat out on their chairs, sneakily watching the whole performance from he corner of their eyes. The problem appeared to be the figure of eight manoeuvre with the circular metal frame. Eventually it was tamed back into it’s bag, but not before we had brought total humiliation and shame on UK campers.
As we drove off the site, I’m sure I could hear all the other nationalities chortling to themselves! We headed south, stopping off at a coastal town on the Adriatic called Barletta. Our guide book raved about it’s Norman Castle and Cathedral, their ‘white limestone sparkling against the azure blue Adriatic’. Well not quite so this morning – it was pretty dull, the light was flat, and the Adriatic, at best, was a deep muddy green. Still it passed a pleasant hour wandering around the streets after coffee. We discovered the same white paved alleyways as we had seen yesterday in Vieste, and discovered that it was, in fact, polished limestone flagstones, rather than marble as we had first thought. We stopped to admire the huge castle and moat, and then meandered back through the old town, with narrow alleyways with washing hung out overhead.
Next stop was Trani, billed as the ‘Pearl of Puglia’ in our book. First impressions were tempered, as the motorists yet again seemed to treat us a fair game, and cut us up at every opportunity, with the obligatory hooting to add to our distress. However once we had parked up and walked into the old quarter, we did indeed discover a wonderful place. Most of the buildings, as yesterday, were built from white stone, with white paved walkways. We walked down one which opened out into an elegant square, which led on to an attractive harbour, with a mixture of up-
market yachts and fishing boats. Local fisherman stood around chatting and mending their nets, and all around the outside were cafes and restaurants, most of which were closed, I guess it being too early in the season.
We strolled over to the beautiful white cathedral, with steps up to an impressive brass entrance door. We found ourselves liking this place the more we explored, all the better for being virtually the only ones around on this rather dull afternoon.
Eventually we pulled ourselves away and headed to our campsite for the night. We thought initially it was deserted, but have discovered one other van here. We picked our pitch next to the sea (less than fifty yards), and positioned Oscar so that we can look out on the sea from our windows. Sadly, no sooner it had arrived, the rain came on. But we are hoping for better weather tomorrow, and if so, the view should be sublime.
Bizarrely, the photo of our ‘road from hell’ experience (day 53) has only just come in, so I will post it now, so you can appreciate how tight this was. I only had the gumption to take a photo once we had passed the scaffolding, so imagine this same road with scaffolding butting out on the left side – it is sending shivers down my spine just reliving the experience!