Day 27: Rolling Rolling Rolling
Today’s title is courtesy of a country song, not many people know that I like country music, but I do. My famous Daddy Dovey is a country fan and so I was kind of indoctrinated with it from a young age. My favourite song is Whiskey Girl by Toby Keith, which I heard someone sing in Nashville many years ago, but I am now very taken with Chris Stapleton – what a talent.
Anyway, onto our day. We bid a sad goodbye to Agri Camping Sole Langhe. I have really loved it here, so much freedom for Juno, nice people, a beautiful area of Italy and that’s before mentioning the wine. Juno was very sad to leave, with her Italian, Dutch and Danish friends around she definitely would have stayed longer, but no the tour persists!
We are heading down to Cinque Terra today having found a campsite that seems ok in Levanto, just north of the Cinque Terra. Budget constraints mean that we initially set Knigel’s sat nav up to avoid toll roads, but that resulted in a 6 hour drive so we gave in and allowed tolls, reducing it to 3 hours.
We needed a supermarket for essentials so figured that there would be somewhere in Genoa for us to stop. The drive was pretty uneventful, toll roads are pretty dull, albeit in Italy the lanes are really narrow and the drivers are a bit more……….crazy than in France. We head into Genoa thinking that there would be a large supermarket looming. Unfortunately, not, so we (Greg) navigated the small city streets, trying not to crash into cars or mopeds and back onto the toll road. It’s fair to say I kept silent as much as possible as my navigation to a hypermarket had failed drastically and Greg was bearing the brunt of it.
An hour later and back on route, we stopped at a few service stations, France definitely does this better than the Italians. There are limited walks for Juno and the toilets are sometimes electronic allocating a set number of toilet paper sheets per person!
We arrive in Levanto finding a village supermarket on the way so we have water at least, then onto Camping San Michele. We took the last pitch that they had, and I witnessed some spectacular manoeuvring by Greg to get us into place. The whole site is very tight. I head off to the loo and come back traumatised at the squat toilets that greeted me (I think I may have previously mentioned my aversion to public toilets). The campsite is nicely situated but really basic and I think over priced for the facilities. That said the owner is nice and helpful and there is wifi available at reception. Italy seems to be winning hands down on the wifi availability front.
We then headed into Levanto for a walk. There is a footpath down to the village that is pretty steep but off road so we (and more importantly Juno) were happy. Levanto is quite a big village, with a lot of tourists albeit Italian ones. There is a lot to like about it, but it seems that many people agree judging by the crowds. We headed for the beach to discover that Juno wasn’t allowed on any of them, so we did the next sensible thing and went for ice cream at Gelateria Pinguino. The ice cream was fab, but the service was better with our waitress going out of her way to try and speak English to help us.
It was quite a novelty to have shops to look in as we have been in the countryside for almost all of our trip so we did a bit of window shopping plus bought some essentials, like hair conditioner for me, a new bandage for Greg (he currently has a dog bandage on – bright green with paw prints on it – our human first aid kit just didn’t match Juno’s).
Next came the climb back to the campsite, which wasn’t too bad, especially as we tackled it in the cool of the evening. We relaxed whilst Juno barked at our neighbour and played with our other neighbour’s dog. Mainly Dutch people – we reckon if you want to stage a coup in the Netherlands now would be the time to do it as the whole of Holland are camping in France and Italy! We are planning an early start to Cinque Terra tomorrow so head to bed.