Looking back at the history behind Manfredonia, where we arrived after Pompei, I see that the modern town was founded in the mid-13th Century by the eponymous King Manfred. The Greeks had owned it, the Romans after them, others, then the Normans, but I cannot find any reference at all to the rumour that it was the inspiration behind the name of the ’60s Pop Group, Manfred Mann (Ha Ha Said the Clown, and more such classics!). Odd that!
We needed to hotfoot it out of of Pompei as the area was going to be re-classified as a Red zone. We’d always intended to see the Adriatic coast, so why not go to a Yellow zone there? Our journey was interesting, quite mountainous, with misty, rainy weather and a curious motorway services stop where we were the only people there apart from the pump attendant and the guy running the cafe and shop. Once sitting with a panini style lunch the mist and drizzle seemed to close in on us obscuring everything outside, causing us to wonder if we’d moved into a parallel universe, or perhaps into a ghost story!
We left sharpish!
Once near to our campsite destination the roads took a dramatic turn for the worse, causing us to wonder if it was true that Northern Italy has the lion’s share of the country’s finances. Poor Campy didn’t like them at all!
Our campsite was great, just a 25m walk to the beach which was deserted apart from an amazing collection of shells – which were really beautiful.
There was a slight issue with wifi, which is crucial to Claire’s teaching online, of course, but having arrived at the weekend we were surprised to see that on the Monday several of the campervans had left – locals who’d been there just for the weekend. Thus we were able to change our pitch and have better internet service. One great thing about it being a sort of weekend resort was the fact that the the closed restaurant advertised takeaway pizzas on the Saturday night – it would have been rude not to have ordered one! Scrummy!
Manfredonia was quite charming – an easy Scoots ride away, a small harbour, a small castle, though not open due to Covid, a few pizzas and some shopping possibilities (oh great!). We easily found a lovely restaurant where we were made so welcome as we were trying to speak Italian which was appreciated.
Manfredonia reminded us a little of the Azores, it had that sort of ‘feel’ about it. We went again to explore a little more.
Our nearest neighbour, another campervan in the next pitch in fact was a pleasant Italian who helped us out one day when it really was raining heavily. However, he must have been cursing us later that day!
We’d put out our awning – and forgotten to take it in because of the rain. Water was gathering as we were sitting inside, oblivious to the problem. We heard some shouts, but didn’t really take notice until there was a knock on the door – which is one of those No-No’s really in camping, respecting privacy, unless there’s a problem, of course.
I leapt to my feet – well, if you’ve seen me move recently, you’ll know that’s not true, two ruptured discs in my lower back, one dodgy knee, the other largely useless have rather impacted on my leaping anywhere! So, by the time I’d reached the door, 1.5m from where I was sitting, our kind neighbour was already trying to solve the problem by lowering one of our awning support poles to make it angled so that the lakes of water that had formed simply drained away.
However, he mistimed it, just as I opened the door – to see the contents of both lakes empty themselves on his head, knocking off his glasses and completely saturating him and his clothes.
“That’ll teach him to mind his own business!” – said Claire. Err, well ok, it was me, and a joke of course, albeit a touch cruel. It’s me brother’s fault, he taught me humour!
Needless to say (when Claire had stopped laughing – err, well . . . . ) we were mortified and very apologetic, thanking him etc. The next day, I went round to his to give him a couple of beers in thanks and a further apology, only to find he doesn’t drink – bingo, great entertainment, and free too, said Claire . . . . . .
In fact it was he who also helped us by telling us that Puglia was going red the next Monday, and suggesting that it might be better if we left while we still could. I don’t think it was because of Claire’s sense of humour!
He very generously gave us a couple of litres of Toilet Cassette fluid (dunno, must be an Italian camping tradition?!) and Claire gave him the flowers I’d picked for her. I didn’t suggest he put them in water . . . . .
“Early morning yesterday, I was up before the dawn.
Well, I really have enjoyed my stay, but I must be moving on.”