Monday, 3 June 2013

A Blogging Conference & A Microadventure

So here I am lying in my tent at 7am having breakfast in bed fully clothed, including coat and wooly hat, snuggled under my sleeping bag and the blanket crocheted by my dad.  I'm reading whilst listening to the rain outside, and the birds of course.  Lots and lots of birds.  

In fact the birds have been my comforting companions over my little two night microadventure.  All alone, just me and my tent amongst the pine trees on the side of a hill a little below Santo Stefano tucked amongst the Apeninnes mountains of the Gran Sasso.  All night long the nightingales sing.  A beautiful, haunting song, broken every now and then by the call of a little owl and the snuffles, yaps, squeaks and snorts of my fellow inhabitants of these woods.

I was at an international conference about the art & business of blogging (an amazing conference actually) and I was asked incredulously "Don't you worry about the wolves or the bears or the wild pigs"?  Not a chance, says I.  Whilst I can hear all the sounds of the nocturnal world, then I know all is well, and can turn over and go back to sleep.

Bird boxes in the woods

It's been a wee while since I've camped alone, and will admit to passing feelings of apprehension over the two nights, and a few questions to myself as to why I'm doing it.  I could have joined my fellow delegates and taken one of the wonderful rooms dotted around the ancient and fabulously restored Santo Stefano.  

I could have bunked in with my friend, Giulia, who found herself in possession of a suite of rooms.  But I chose to stay in my tent.  

The weather has been foul, it's been cold up here at 1250m and fresh snow has peppered the mountain tops whilst I've been here.  I've been all alone, the only inhabitant on this tucked away little campsite.  

Santo Stefano

I've kept the light down low at night so nobody can see that I'm here, and a cosh by my bed in case I was wrong.  I've had an escape route planned, and the car close for a quick getaway.  

But now, having done it and as I'm lying here all tucked up and cosy, I'm as warm and as happy as can be.  And I'm smiling, a big cheesy grin.

My little camping spot, in the woods below

So, what I'm trying to say is, regardless of your age or gender, whether alone or with others, every now and then take a little microadventure, it could be just what you need.  

Bat boxes in the woods

As a little aside, if you do fancy it but feel a bit too apprehensive, why not give it a go here at Kokopelli?  Single travellers are always welcome, and if you don't have the equipment, you can always use my lovely little Hillberg tent.  

If, during your trip, you start to feel comfortable and fancy pushing it a bit further, we know some great wild camping spots...   


The Art & Business of Blogging:

Gran Sasso National Park:

Kokopell Camping (that's us, by the way):

Camping Gran Sasso (the delightful campsite where I spent my two nights):

Camping Gran Sasso


  1. Ciao Jackie! I'll have to note down for myself "regardless of your age or gender, whether alone or with others, every now and then take a little microadventure, it could be just what you need". Loved it! It was great meeting you, come visit us in Sulmona :)
    Susanna (also know as the italian half of "the girls of Welcome to Sulmona")

    1. Thank you Susanna! Do it! Take a microadventure! Everyone should do at least one. But, be warned, do one and you'll be addicted!

      Just try and stop me coming to see you - 25th July is in my diary and we'll be there for the jousting, if not before :-)

      See you soon, love to Katy, Jaqs x

  2. Soooo jealous - apart from the weather. Looking forward to reading the blogs and counting each of these wretched 'A' Level papers as instalments towards my next trip away.
    And, to any prospective solo travellers: don't hesitate, Kokopelli is the ideal place to visit on your own - I know, I've been twice on my own and can't wait to come back!

    1. Thanks Jill - soooooo jealous of your weather, but not the A level marking!

      Congrats on the Travellers Tips, great snippet for Abruzzo on a budget:

  3. Ooh I am almost jealous, but imagine what Benson would have done to the tent with those noises this time! So glad you enjoyed it and lovely post :)

    1. Thanks Sammy, glad you enjoyed it - Benson would have loved it, with all that space to run and explore.

  4. wow! During these days I didn't realize you were staying in a tent! I imagine it was as exciting as freeezing! It was a great pleasure to meet u, Dixie :-)

  5. Thanks Rita! It was actually rather cosy - nothing better than being snuggled up in a tent listening to the wind howling in the trees and the rain pouring down :-) Great to finally meet you too, Rita and great to be called my old nickname of Dixie once again! x