I realise I am short on posts and photos, but until I have a little stability and better internet options that include the laptop, sorry I can’t do anything about it!
I haven’t actually run out of gas, never quite got that far, but with the previous cylinders only lasting a week, panic set in when I connected my last one on the 25th June! And with not seeing ANY camper dealers, things were not looking good.
The heel of Italy is quite dry and less green than the rest of the country so far. It seemed that knobbly bit was the last bit of vegetation down the east side, and with it went the dealers and the McDonald’s. I spent 48 hours going round in circles between Lecce and Gallipoli before becoming frustrated and nearly jacking it all in. I went back to the first camp site book and found one with gas bottles and WiFi on the south coast and plugged it in the Sat nav and set out on the 250km trip. When I got there, no gas and no WiFi. Fucking brilliant! Still after the previous few days I was happy to rest up for a couple of days and relax.
The jaunt had brought me to Calabria, the south/south-west of Italy, essentially the rest of the foot. While I was here I was going to call in on my Italian tutor whilst she was in the country, in a little village on a hillside, only after I found gas!
Wisely, though why it had taken me this long to figure out I don’t know, whilst braving some internet charges on the phone, I looked up the Camping Gas website and a list of their resellers. Three in the area, Catanzaro and two in Lamezia Terme. Wow! I parked at Catanzaro Lido, after an unsuccessful search for a sailing/camping shop, and set out for Catanzaro the next day.
Catanzaro is like a town in a sci-fi film. It is built on a number of hills, with massive road bridges interconnecting the different sections on different levels. Like cars flying everywhere! But no sign of shop number 1. I hid in a coffee shop as the skies opened and through a load of water down. Getting back in the camper, I set off for Lamezio Terms, which was also going to be my next stop for the night.
2 shops non-existent and neither was my camper stop. I have never seen so many cars squashed into a small space and all in a hurry and all beeping. And narrow streets. And steep. And wet!! I panicked and followed cars up the hill when my Sat nav ran out, but the water on the roads made them like glass. With the weight of the camper in the rear, and the drive in the front (main reason for Hugh telling me not to park on grass), the camper failed to grip the road going upwards through a residential street. Before I burnt the engine out or the tyres or the clutch, the only thing I could do was throw it in to someone’s front drive! Amidst a hail of horns as my arse end blocked the street behind me. This was going to be good, cos my only option was going to be reversing back down the hill until I could turn round!
Thankfully I pulled the manoeuvre without an accident, but by this time my nerves were completely shot. When I got back into the town, very old, very narrow streets, caffeine and copious amounts of nicotine were in order. After this and giving myself a talking to, it was back on with the hunt for gas. I am happy to report that four shops and a Google translate later, I scored a cylinder at the cheapest price yet of 19 Euros! The bargain is, because of my fear of running out and keeping everything off, I still have not changed it as at time of writing!
Just had to change the underwear a few times instead….