Friday, 12 January 2018

Kokopelli for Kids

"I love your site, but what is there to do for my children?"  

Probably our most asked question, so, briefly summarised, Kokopelli Camping does seem to be loved by children of all ages, many of whom have been back a number of times.  

Making new friends at Kokopelli, collecting cherries and preparing tea

Firstly, it's important to understand that we’re in a relatively undiscovered and rural part of Italy, where there’s not much in the way of tourism or organised activities.  That said, what nature has to offer is truly splendid and children seem to enjoy it as much as the grown-ups, particularly the freedom to just be children.  

Learning to slack line at Kokopelli

One evening last summer, I saw a group of children, all different ages, all lying in the grass under a tree, clearly totally absorbed with something fascinating.  It was a hedgehog, and they spent all evening just watching, chatting and laughing in the long grass.  Other times, I've watched children running around with butterfly nets and overturning stones searching for lizards.  We have rabbits that children can sit with, and chickens from which they can collect eggs.  And we have a border collie called Lizzy, who adores the children as much as they her.

We have woods to wander in and explore, build dens, follow animal tracks, discover new paths.  We have old ruins, castles, rivers and waterfalls.  Many on our doorstep, some just a short drive away, all within one hour.  

The beach is a 35 minute drive down the valley, and we can point you in the direction of some wonderful sandy beaches well off the tourist trail, or rocky coves perfect for snorkelling.  We can suggest some fabulous places for a seafood lunch or to indulge in a wonderful Italian gelato.  Have a look at this link from our blog that explains a little more:  Places to Swim

Although tourist activities in Abruzzo are few, we do have a forest adventure climbing experience nearby, and a couple of waterparks.  You can also go on guided canoe trips down the Pescara river, or hire mountain bikes, etc.  There are a couple of links here to give you an idea:

Pasta making with Stefano

If you like, you can even learn how to make pasta with Stefano, our local chef who runs the restaurant in the village.

With the campsite, our facilities are pretty good and very well equipped, but we don't have a children's play area.  Our showers and toilets are modern and clean and more than sufficient - even at the height of our season when we have a full campsite (absolute maximum of 35 adults and 15 children), there are never queues.  We also have outdoor cooking stations (gas and charcoal), a barn with three large fridge freezers, books, games and a gas oven.  Another link here that you might find useful that explains our facilities:  Facilities

Where accommodation is concerned, you will either be coming in your own tent (or small campervan), or you will be hiring one or two of ours.  You could have either two Bell Tents (pitched next to each other), or perhaps one Bell Tent and one of our €1 per night standard tents, which seems to be a favourite option for families.  This link here, explains a little more about our €1 tent hire scheme:  €1 Tent Hire 

Bell Tent in the background

I hope this all helps, but do get in touch if you have any questions.  We're always happy to chat through options with you over the phone or on skype, just let us know and we'll give you a call.

Stealing the grapes!



Sunday, 14 May 2017

Wild camping in the woods

...well, sort of.

For those who want their camping to be even more back to nature and tucked away, we have a lovely little woodland spot where abandoned cultivated terraces are rewilding in their truest sense.  Trophic cascading has already begun with the return of the wolf, and the wild boar, deer, polecats and foxes are plentiful.  

We have changed nothing or altered anything, it is as nature dictates.  All we've done is set up a humanure toilet to ensure things are kept clean and our impact minimal (and we will have a good supply of compost in a year or two!)

Numbers will be strictly limited, you can come in your own tent or you can hire one of ours for €1 a night (€1 tent hire).  You can give hammock camping a try, we have a couple of those, or you can stay on the campsite and have a night in the woods.  Whatever you like.  If you'd like to know more, drop me a line:

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Hiking the Majella (2)

Eremo San Giovanni, Vall'Orfento, Parco Nazionale Della Majella

Undoubtedly the most evocative, spectacular and least accessible Celestinian sanctuary of all the hermitages of the Majella.  A place to just sit and think and wonder.

Eremo San Giovanni:  Parco Nazionale Della Majella

Sentiero dello Spirito: Multi-day hike through time & wilderness

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Hiking the Majella

A few snaps from a recent romp up the hill to the Tavola dei Briganti, Majella National Park (17/06/2016).

Love this place

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Cachi, the sweetest treat of the winter

Winters here are full of splashes of bright orange dappled throughout the countryside, the cachi (persimmon) stunning against the snow.  But there are just so many, and what to do with them with them all?  Tragic not to make use of such sweet abundance.

Eaten raw, they leave a strange furry matting to the roof of your mouth, cooked they just go to mush, and there's only so much mush you can eat. 

And here's the trick.

Dry them.

They crystallise and become the most delectable candied fruit.  A very naughty, but very very nice, sweet treat without a single additive or grain of sugar in existence.  

They can be chopped and mixed into your warming winter porridge; add a spoonful of cinnamon and you have the food of the gods.  

You can make a fruit cake out of them, a tart, or a loaf, coat them in chocolate, or just simply pop them in your mouth when you get the munchies.  And not so much of a whisper of a furry mouth.  Win, win, every time.

So here's how:

1.  Pick the fruit with some stalk still attached (you'll need this for hanging them).

2.  Peel the fruit, leaving a small disc of peel top and bottom.

3.  Hang them somewhere dry and airy, leaving space between each one.

4.  Give them a squeeze every now and then to encourage the sugar to the outside.

5.  After about 3 months they're ready to be munched.

Couldn't be easier.

And they look very pretty too.


Pick your cachi (persimmon) with a small length of stick still attached

Peel them, leaving a small disc top and bottom

Hang them in a dry, airy space.
Don't forget to squeeze them, cachi's need love too

After about 3 months they're crystallising nicely

Simple pleasures