Sunday 13th July.
We are parked up this evening at da Scarpa camping in Cavallino-Treporti near Venice. It's an Agri campsite and there are fields of aubergine, courgette, tomatoes, peaches and apricots next to us. This was not our first choice of campsite, or, in fact, our second. We had planned to stop at a Camperstop site about ten minutes from the ferry when we arrived this morning but our German neighbour on board ship said that we must stop at a campsite he recommended, which was the best campsite in the whole world and we would love it. So, we drove in a big loop for an hour and a half to finally arrive at this peninsular, all the while the Sat Navs going potty because of all the road works and diversions outside the main ferry port. Fortunately not too much traffic, it being a Sunday morning and eventually we arrived at the base of the peninsular to see signs saying there were twenty four (24!) campsites where we were heading. The traffic got busier and busier and the tourist shops and restaurants lined the road. Things slowed down for a bit after a people carrier ploughed into the back of a caravan. Bizarrely just a dent and a few scratches in the caravan while I reckon the people carrier was a write off. All this on a two lane road. Eventually we reached the best campsite in the whole world with an arched, ornate entrance comparable to a seven star hotel to be met by a pretty Italian young lady who asked if we had a reservation. When we admitted we had not she offered us the opportunity to take a waiting list ticket suggesting that maybe we could enter the portals to this wonderful establishment in a few hours. We declined this offer and set off looking for shelter in one of the other 23 campsites feeling a little like Joseph and Mary but without the pregnancy of course. Next campsite - full. It was just dawning on us how busy this area was, as we drove along every second vehicle was a caravan or a motorhome. We got lost in the maze of lanes and stumbled across the place we are at now. Not luxurious by any standards but exceptionally clean and with a farm shop selling organic fruit, vegetables and wine and it's only (only!!!) €29 a night. I reckon our German friends' best campsite in the whole world would have been nearer 40 or 50 Euros.
The ferry crossing from Greece had been uneventful, if a little boring, until the early hours of this morning. Before we went to bed last night we had a last stroll around the ship and saw the horizon in front of us lit up by lightning. We didn't know how far away it was (how distant is the far horizon at sea?) but a couple of hours later we steamed into the middle of it. We'd never experienced a thunder storm at sea before and as it was impossible to sleep we went out to have a look. The wind was howling although the sea remained calm, the rain was lashing down and every few seconds the sky would light up followed by the loudest thunder we have ever heard. At one point the storm was directly above us at which point the wind dropped, only to start up again as we passed through the storm. When we left Patras it had been another hot day, as was our first day at sea and a few people had just laid out on the top deck in sleeping bags under the stars. One couple had even put up their tent. I suspect they'd hurried for shelter quickly at the first clap of thunder.
Our plan now is to spend a day or so here, it's a mile or so to the ferries to take us to Venice and the other islands; our German neighbour on board ship told us we must visit Lido. He said he visited this area three or four times a year so I guess he knows what he's talking about. Mind, if his travel recommendations are anything like his campsite suggestions,who knows?
I panicked for a moment when we arrived here at this site which, as I've said, is pretty basic and I couldn't see a television but there's a hotel next door which I think is owned by the same people and we popped in for an aperitif earlier and they confirmed they would have the TV on this evening showing the match. Probably 50% of the motorhomes we have seen here have German plates so I'm glad we haven't ended up on one of the luxury sites! I couldn't bear watching the final surrounded by Germans (sorry Bernd, no offence meant) I'd have had to pretend I was Argentinian. I suspect Germany will collect another trophy tonight but I'm hoping Messi, Di Maria (is he fit), Higuan, Aguero, Mascherano et al will put on a masterclass and spoil their party. Who knows, football, funny old game eh?
Sunset on the ferry before the storm.