Where's Frankie?

On the run

Saturday 5th November

We stayed on our little sosta for three nights in the end, it had it’s good points but also some not so good.

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Flies have been a bit of a problem, annoying, persistent little buggers which made sitting outside very irritating. The weather has been good and I think that having no wind in the sosta made them all the braver. The other not so good point is that what I thought was the elsan point isn’t, there are no toilet emptying facilities here which is a bit limiting.

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However, we are half a mile from the beach with Promontorio del Circeo in the distance. We could also see three islands off the coast but they are not on our map. We are in the middle of the National Park of Circeo. This photo is from our first visit to the beach, on Friday the weather was glorious and we had to sit on the beach, read our kindles and count the people passing by – four in five hours.

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Just behind the beach are some huge lagoons with a solitary Flamingo (Lucy’s bird look says it shouldn’t be in Italy). We also saw a couple of Little Egrets, a huge Heron who had just caught an eel and a Green Woodpecker.

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The farmer bought over a plate of tomatoes and three eggs which was very nice of him, he didn’t speak any English but we managed to communicate with lots of arm waving.

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Little poppet managed to rustle up a Pizza Florentina for me.

Saturday morning we decided to move along, we needed a food shop and thought that everywhere would be closed on Sunday, our shop of choice, Lidl, is open on Sunday. The coast road here was very pretty and we made good time to our intended stop for the night in Mondragon. I’m sorry to say that the town was a shit hole, the road leading to the lido was a dumping ground, the buildings near to the beach were run down and extremely shabby and the place we were aiming for was shut. Just as well really because it really didn’t look inviting at all. Camper Contact to the rescue and there is a place 20 miles away with full services.

In between Mondragon and our destination, Caserta, the road is dead straight and 25 miles long. It’s a typical Italian road with a 30mph speed limit for much of it due to the road condition and there we are merrily bumping our way along the road when a car pulls up alongside, the passenger flashes an ID card and they gesture for us to slow down and then pull into an abandoned car park. The passenger in a suit jumps out and tries to get us to move off the road and into the car park with them but Lucy shouts “go, go, go… don’t stop, just go”.

You know I always obey Lucy so off we went, trundling along at 30mph along a dead straight road for another 20 miles. Were they really Police and is there an APB out on Frankie? The driver did look like he was talking into a radio but wouldn’t real Police try again? It’s not like we’ve got a high speed getaway vehicle. It’s left me a bit shaken to be honest.

We’re on a sosta, it’s not the best in the world and some of the comments suggest that it is a busy knocking shop at night but the services were very clean and we are parked next to the second largest amphitheatre in the world, it has seen some decay since it was built. If we’ve not been imprisoned or forced off by the late night antics we’ll go and visit it tomorrow. Caserta is also home to the largest palace in Italy but our guide book calls it the most wearisome substituting size for elegance.

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We’ve had a little visitor, he started by standing on the windscreen wipers and pecking at the insects which was amusing for a little while but then he found the mirrors and spent a good half hour trying to kill his reflection before I scared him off. He’s a White Wagtail.

3 thoughts on “On the run

  1. Giorgio

    I am glad that you quickly managed to move away from Mondragone and that you did not head to Naples via Giugliano. You may wish to do some reading ahead of visiting these areas – it would not hurt ‘nough said.

    The Reggia [Royal Palace] at Caserta is definitely worth a visit.
    Here is a link from the UNESCO website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/549

    I hope you may get to see Naples. By the same token, make sure that the Sosta you stay is as safe as it possibly can.

    Given the option, driving along the Amalfitani coast and seeing Sorrento can be a spectacular experience and if you can fit in Amalfi and Positano you won’t regret it along with Pompei.

    Safe travels.

    1. Mark Post author

      Sorry Giorgio, we’ve chickened out and are now heading north. Already we both feel much safer and have relaxed a bit. Apparently we weren’t in Caserta, we were in Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Lucy didn’t even set foot out of Frankie and at night it was horrendous. I know that we are missing lots of good bits of Italy but if we are feeling on edge that really isn’t the experience we want. Combined with a lack of places to stay and trying to make plans for Xmas we have decided to go north. We will be visiting Florence by the end of the week, that really is the only place that we want to visit at the moment, after that we will have to decide.

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