Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mon 20 June - A Dubbing Weekend By The Sea

Friday morning.  Post party bed at 2.30am, up and on it 7am.  Party debris clearing, washing up, putting away, restoring order.  The reason for such a crazy flurry of activity so soon after going to bed?  We're taking Rosemary to the seaside!  

It's been a long time.

Here she is!
But how good did it feel?  Pulling out all the Rosemary goodies, going through the old check list and straight back came that wonderfully familiar, living the hobo, feeling.  And to be returning to Ortona, where we stayed whilst on our travels through Italy last year.  Exactly a year ago to be precise.

Eventually Rosemary was packed, KP was up and we were off.  Oh, the joy of travelling in a veedub.  So much of it is the journey as opposed to simply the destination itself.  Its the whole package.  

So there we were, bouncing along those little empty country lanes, pootling along to Rosemary's rhythm, with more than enough time to smell the roses.  Or rather, to fully take in the changing landscape as it morphed along the valley from mountain community to coastal.  

The mountains of The Majella one side,
the Adriatic sea the other
Leaving the lush green freshness of the Majella behind, we rolled through vin yard after vin yard, past sun drenched fields and wound our way along dusty roads and up through sleepy little hill top top towns, getting ever closer to the sea.  Never, ever will I tire of this landscape.   

The Appenines, looming starkly against the brightest blue sky, still with snow on her peaks and cascading down her ravines through one window, the sea appearing sparkling in the distance through the other.  And not another soul on the roads.  

Why, oh why, I wondered, and not for the first time, are there no other veedubs?  Such a perfectly blissful place, absolutely made for veedub living.  Yet here we are, seemingly all alone.  In all the miles and months of travelling over the last year, only one other have we seen.  An ancient, battered old Westie, but just beautiful.  And we waved and waved. 

The cove, Ripari di Giobbe
Eventually, after only an hour, we were bouncing down and round the bumpy little lane into Ripari di Giobbe, a little camping community in a hidden little cove just north of Ortona.  The sweet little campsite is at the end of the lane and winds it's way right down to the sea.  Only accessible for the smaller campers and tents, it's just perfect.  The facilities are basic, but the location is to die for.  

The little cove maybe one of the very few pebble beaches along the whole sandy Abruzzo coastline, but it's waters are crystal clear, a haven for snorklers, divers and swimmers.  Ortona, with it's ancient little town, steeped in history and wartime tales, is just a short 30 minute walk following the beachside railway track.

Not a bad view to wake up to
And so we spent a blissful three days just swimming, fishing, sleeping and sunning.  We woke up each morning with a dip in the ocean, cycled into Ortona for the morning bread, and we walked in along the beach in the evenings, just for a wander and a drink in the bar overlooking the busy busy harbour and port.  But it was back to Rosemary that first night for a moonlit barbie in our little spot at the top of the cliff.  Heaven.  

Saturday night, however, we pushed the boat out, just a little.  Supper on the terrace  in the Trattoria San Domenico next to the castle looking out over the harbour.  A menù prezzo fisso, we had a 6 course meal of the most delectable seafood.  Tiny little samples, but each one more exquisite than the next.  A long slow supper we had, with good wine and enough room at the end, just, to nibble on the delicate little cakes with coffee and a small, but big treat, glass of Amaro.

Eventually, on Sunday afternoon, when the sun on the beach had just became so so hot, we slowly made our way back home with the windows wound down and the radio on, bouncing once more along those little country lanes, big veedub grins on our faces.  

And Rosemary just purred.

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