Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Fourth Week

Sunday 27-3-16

Saturday night in Stiffe was quiet.  We had the car park to ourselves.  In the morning we had a lay in and then realised the clocks had gone forward, so we left two hours later than normal. Not a problem, we had good roads to the coast.  All the petrol stations were unmanned today and you paid a machine, the first one we stopped at only took cash but the next accepted our card.  No shops were open today so no fresh bread for lunch. We were aiming for a sosta just inland of the coast at Ortona.  But when we got to the coordinates there was nothing apart from a closed down tractor dealership.  So we dropped down to the coast, heading to another sosta at a Marina that was in the Camperstop Europe book.  Just as we hit the coast, our first sight of the Adriatic, we spotted a big car park facing out to sea, with other motorhomes parked up.  So we drove in and parked up, there were signs saying no motorhomes but the Italians just seemed to ignore them, so we did too.

The small town had quite a few restaurants and all were full of locals having Easter Sunday lunch.  A busy place.  We walked around the beach and along a jetty.  It had two wooden huts on stilts with wooden poles on wires built on it.  Some sort of fishing thing?

The parking area eventually emptied of cars and there were only us and five other motorhomes left.  During the night I woke to rain on the roof, then a little later I woke up when a light fitting fell on my head.

Free parking at Marina Di San Vito, Italy. N42.30803 E014.44736

Monday 28-3-16

More light issues in the morning. The little light that lights up when the toilets full lit up.  So first job of the day was to find a place to dump it.  Just 12 km down the road we found a sosta with a service point.  We filled up with water too, but only after clearing up the area of bags of rubbish that some wild animal had pulled out of the bins during the night.  We’ve learnt to take every opportunity to dump and fill.  Next order of the day was food and drink, we spotted a supermarket called Euro Spin, this fitted the bill.  Now we had enough sustenance for three days including some ridiculously cheap Polish lager and a huge 5 litre bottle of Vino Blanco for Madam. 

Thirty km later we happened upon a beach parking area that allowed campervans overnight.  Charges were displayed but the payment hut was closed, presumably as it’s out of season.  We parked at the far end against the beach, two steps from our door and I was on the beach.


A decision was made, not a hard one, to stop for two nights.  We lunched then had a sandy walk along the shoreline, the place had a very laid back feel to it.

Back at the van I got on the internet and booked our ferry to Greece for a week’s time.  The departure port of Bari is only 240km away so we can have a very leisurely week getting there.  The evening consisted of pork burgers, green beans, potatoes, a large glass of Jägermeister and some Mob killings.

Free parking at Petacciato Beach, Italy. N42.03670 E014.85050

Tuesday 29-3-16

Lay in till half eight, that Jägermeister works like chloroform on me.  The Easter weekend motorhome mob had gone and we were part of a four vehicle camp now.  Nipped off for fresh bread for lunch and then returned to the beach and bagged a nicer spot than yesterday.


The trip out took our daily mileage to 19 miles. As we were having a day off traveling we decided it was jobs day.  I got the co-pilot up on the roof cleaning the muck and dust off the solar panel.  It was doing a fine job today powering the slow cooker for our dinner so deserved some TLC.  She then moved onto to the skylights.

Our reversing camera is and always has been pants, black and white and like looking through a misted up window on a foggy day.  I’d bought a new one back in the UK so decided to fit it today.  The elderly Italian chap in next doors van came to supervise me.  He gave me a few encouraging words of Italian every couple of minutes while stood behind me at all times, I understood nothing.  But we got the job done and he seemed pleased with his efforts.  We can know see what’s about to run into us or what I’m about to reverse into, in full glorious colour.  Liz moved on from roof duties to a full decontamination of the ablutions and catering facilities.  We lunched then had a walk around the nature reserve next to the beach, it had bird watching hides and raised wooden walkways over the salt marshes.  Very pleasant.  By the time we sat down for our French beef stew there was only us and one other van in the parking.

Free parking at Petacciato Beach, Italy. N42.03670 E014.85050

Wednesday 30-3-16

We broke camp after two relaxing days at Petacciato Beach.   At a small town called Lesina we looked at a sosta, but the rest of the town put us off, had a kind of Wild West feel to it.  We bought fresh bread and headed on.  The sat-nav took us down some seriously narrow roads to a waypoint for another sosta but when we got there we couldn’t find it, so more winding roads back onto the main road.  At a seaside town called Peschici we hit sosta jackpot, every bod with an olive grove was advertising motorhome parking.  We picked one next to the beach, which turned out to be an actual campsite.  The first of the trip and at 15 euro a night not badly priced.  The lady in reception had a German accent, the site brochure she gave us was in Italian and German and all the other campers on the site were German.  Lizzie’s huge wine bottle had leaked on the duvet while we’d been driving so that got hung out while we went for a walk around.

We found a nice beach and lots of restaurants and hotels.  The town’s buildings were painted in white and blue, lending it a bit of a Greek air.

Three firsts of the trip happened today, stopped overnight on a campsite, I wore my shorts and flip flops and finally I got bitten by a mozzie.  They do like my tasty blood.  Had a lovely dinner of some beef parcels wrapped in bacon with a tomato sauce then had a bit more mobster viewing.

 Campsite at Peschici Beach, Italy.  N41.94544 E016.00648

Thursday 31-3-16

Nearly stopped another night but decided to move on.  We’d looked and there was a sosta 25km away and if that was no good then an ACSI campsite 40km further.  We’d bought the 2016 ACSI site book and membership as it gives good discounts out of season so I’m determined to at least use it once.  The sosta didn’t look great so we carried onto the campsite.  And when we got there it didn’t take long to decide to stop for two nights.  A very quiet site set on the beach amongst trees.

A brand new shower block, free wifi and most importantly something for Lizzie to play with, washing machines.  All for 13 euro a night.  We found ourselves a pitch after ordering our bread for the next day off the nice site man.  Liz got to grips with the laundry and filled both the brand new machines, and the nice site man worked out how many euros to put in the timer and that was that.  Lizzie went back two hours later to find the timer finished but the machines still full of water.  The nice site man was consulted, not enough euros, so he put two euros of his in and she left then came back half an hour later.  Both machines still thrashing about, in fact so much one had worked its way to the end of its water pipe tether and was now in the middle of the laundry room.  Such fun. We strung out lines across two pitches and then wandered down the beach.

That night we nearly succumbed to a meal in the Pizzeria on the site, the smell from it was great.  But we had pork steaks that would turn against us if they sat for one more day in the fridge so they got cooked with some mushroom cream sauce and served with some pasta.  We had a late night with Tony S as we weren’t driving the next day.

Campsite at Manfredonia, Italy. N41.55500 E015.89587

Friday 1-4-16

Up late and then off for a long walk down the beach which seems to run the 60 miles to the port of Bari.  Obviously we didn’t make it that far.

A storm this winter had left a lot of flotsam on the beach, notably was a brand new yellow welly and a dining chair.

We sat in the sun and ate our lunch then mucked out what seemed to be a beach load of sand out of Brian.  Had a quick count and I was up to 5 mozzie bites, time to bring out the jungle strength repellent?  The huge German motorhome next to us moved on today, he’d had to reinforce the step with axle stands and a bit of 4x2.  They were a hefty pair.  
We looked at maps, Camperstop books, ACSI Camping guides.  We then realised the next place to stop, before we get the ferry on Monday, was actually Bari itself, unless we wanted to pay more than here or drive past it on the coast only to come back the same way the next day.  See how our daily trip plans are a bit pants? So decision made, stay here another night tomorrow.  Fine by me, there’s enough beer and wine under the bed to keep us entertained.  We might be eating things we find growing in the bottom of the fridge tomorrow though, but hey ho.

Campsite at Manfredonia, Italy. N41.55500 E015.89587

Saturday 2-4-16

We feel like we’ve taken root, three nights in one place is a first for us.  But off to Bari Port tomorrow for the ferry to Greece on Monday.  Last night all the lights went out.  We’d been running on batteries for two and a half days and the vans parked under trees in the shade, the solar panel didn’t really have a chance.  So out came the lecky lead and we plugged into the sites electric. Not wanting to waste all this new found power, the water heater went straight on and we turned the gas off.  Every light in the van went on and everything that needed charging got plugged in.  It’s 2 euro more to have electric, can’t just throw money away.  It was gone nine this morning when we surfaced.  To make up for our laziness we went on a route march after breakfast, 8km up the beach.

At the point where we turned back there were some houses and a strange hotel/Spa, all a bit run down.  Some thoughts on Italy before we leave.  We’ve been before but only ever in the North, Dolomites and the lakes.  We’ve both been impressed with the southerly areas we’ve seen this trip.  The people all seem happy and friendly.  The roads can be lovely and smooth or alternatively absolutely appalling, shaking us and the poor old van to bits.  The scooter riders and the odd car driver are nuts.  Food prices are cheaper than France, fuel is more, but still cheaper than the UK.  We’ve noticed lots of litter, on the beaches, sides of the roads and in the towns. Italians don’t like being told what to do, if the sign says no campervans they park there (us too), if there’s a solid white line down the middle of the road they’ll overtake, if a cars parked where they want to park they just double park next to it.  It’s all very easy going really. 

About sums up Italians attitude to being told what to do....

We’ll probably come back another year, we still want to go to Sardinia which we had to drop from the agenda this year due to not being organised with ferry booking. So that’s the end of week four, next week’s update will be about Greece.  Cheers Kev & Liz.

Campsite at Manfredonia, Italy. N41.55500 E015.89587

Below are the updated facts and figures for 25 days away.


  1. Just been doing the garden, thought I'd have a break and a coke and read your blog to give me a bit of enthusiasm to carry on gardening and it worked! Great reading, looking forward to next week's blog :)

    1. Thanks. Keep reading. It's nice to know someone enjoys it!

  2. Heather has become strangely addicted to your blog. I read it to her as a bed time story. Maybe I'll convince her that banning is a good idea :)

    1. Banning is never a good idea Howard 😄


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