Sunday, 3 October 2010

27th.September-3rd.October 2010 LIGURIAN LEISURE BREAK pt.2

Down the road 70kms to SANREMO (or SAN REMO). We had heard of a great campsite but it is very full, won't take bookings and you have to arrive early in the morning to see if any pitches are available. We got there at 10.07am and there was a choice of 3 pitches left, only one of which was really suitable for an attempted parking manoeuvre and that involved using one of the other vacant pitches....thereby breaking the golden rule of NEVER using an empty pitch to facillitate entry to your chosen pitch on an Italian campsite as sod's law dictates you won't be able to use it when you want to get off. These pitches are Very small, double length for back to back with hedges between adjacent pairs but lots of trees.
There are larger pitches on a terrace overlooking the sea but they cost another 10€ a day on top of the 15€ Acsi rate.. Electricity is only 3amp which barely runs the fridge and is not enough for the electric kettle. However, in every other respect it is a great site with accesss to beach, seawater swimming pool and jacuzzi, direct access onto 24 km old railway track cycle and footpath which goes through centre of town...30-40 mins on foot, bus/tram stop outside, 1€ each way into town, great views and lovely weather.

The longer we stay, the better we like the campsite and are contemplating moving down a level to the more expensive sites overlooking the beaches at an extra 10€ a night as they get the sun all day long whereas we are shaded by trees. We eat outside from breakfast to dinner, 8.30am-8.30pm but could do without the shade in the evenings. There is quite a lot of movement each day but everything is full again by 11am. When the germans behind us left I moved back 2 feet to get the satellite dish successfully working on Astra 2 instead of Astra 1 (german tv plus BBC World service for english news) but then a large swiss van moved onto the pitch 12ins from our rear.....and as I am on the front ramps I cannot roll back off them without asking the swiss to move forward - I did point this out when they parked but they could not move forward without sticking out into the access road. I trust that their smiles and assurances of assistance will hold good when I knock on their door at 8am one morning asking them to move.

Sanremo is delightful. A bit faded but like a dowager duchess still trying to keep up appearances and was obviously a rival to Monaco (30kms) Nice and Cannes in its heyday. There is still money here, evidenced by the shops,hotels,casino,yachts and marinas. It's Italian, however, which means most of it is in need of some TLC. The old town, another rabbit warren of steep,cobbled passageways and alleyways is incredibly interesting but a bit scruffy. The atmosphere is great, wall to wall cafes,bars and restaurants.....and scooters. This must be what a bee feels like in a hive. Thousands of scooters buzz everywhere. There is more parking space for scooters than there is for cars and scooters obey no traffic regulations at all. The roads are quite narrow and because the cars can't park they clog the roads nose to tail from here in every direction for as far as we have been and the scooters whizz passed them at high speed on the outside and inside without pausing for junctions or lights, and they take no prisoners. It is quite nerve wracking for me and the Gf is very we have taken to parking outside the centre and walking a lot. Had a great trip along the (very scenic) coast road towards Monaco and inland to DOLCEAQUA, yet another mediaeval town with castle,steep,cobbled passageways (upon which we are now experts) and one of the most beautiful churches we have been inside.

On the site, we have made friends with our Danish neighbours, Ella and Jen, who are great fun and have taken 3 months off to tour Europe in an old, borrowed caravan which they have been told to abandon if it ceases to work. She has just had a new kidney after 8 years of dialysis and is lucky to be alive, hence the desire to get more out of life than working. He is a banker (but very nice) and she sells yachts and they sail all the time and organise a big international regatta for old,wooden sailing boats in June. We are seriously thinking of accepting their invitation to meet them in Denmark next year after they have done a great selling job, extolling the countries delights and a trip in May and June seems to be very much on the cards

The campsite arranged a free BBQ one lunch time as a thankyou to guests. Food was Ok and wine kept flowing, followed by grappa. In true b-team tradition, I am glad to say that our very giggly foursome was the last but one group to leave in the midst of the becoming-pointed clearing up and the afternoon was spent fast asleep until we decided to share a couple of bottles of wine late into the evening as we put the world to rights on war,religion,immigration and italian campsites (except this one).

The weather remains very,very warm and sunny.

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