Far from the maddening crowd and onto Acquappesa

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April 4th 2013
Published: April 5th 2013
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Pouzzuoli to Acuuappesa

Gelato flavour of the day : No time for one after escaping the trials of the streets of Napoli !

Victoria GPS doesn't know just how close she came to being ripped out from the dashboard and thrown onto the streets of Naples with all the other rubbish.

Of course she will have the defence that a message comes up on the screen before the guidance starts that the system should not be used solely as a system to get you from point A to B.

We should have gone with the Google map we looked at last night as it took us back north for a short distance and then onto a ring road around the north of Naples and onto a toll road and south.

However the BBA V2 has a condition of avoiding tolls at all costs except where one is driven to craziness by the traffic conditions and so it was to turn out today.

We haven't been able to work out how you can see the route Victoria is actually going to take you like we can with Serena(our NZ GPS)and so with Cindy loaded up we were on our way......heading towards Naples.Oh well we thought perhaps there is a ring type road around the port side of the city.

The first few kilometres was fine with traffic moving freely and keeping to their own side of the road with parked cars neatly parked parallel to the pavement rather than angle on and their backsides sticking out necessitating some swerving every now and then.

Before long though we realised that we w ere going to end up travelling through the city and as we were going from west to east it would mean going right across the city suburbs that would be on our route.

We hit the downtown area and the craziest roundabout we have ever seen.In these circumstances one must stick your nose into the traffic flow and go for the gap or you will be left stranded and the Italian drivers behind will exercise their horn on you!At the roundabout there were FIVE police personnel all with little lollipop sticks waving in all directions with no drivers taking a slight bit of notice.

Gretchen is a very experienced driver and went for the gap as appropriate but we weren't thanking Victoria for the route chosen.But we came out the other side OK and carried on reaching the waterfront we had walked on yesterday with the traffic flow moving steadily.

Worse was to come however as we entered the eastern side of the suburbs of Naples and the road surface changed from broken tar seal(Fulton Hogan would be kept busy in Naples)to cobbles that looked and felt like as we rode over them that the Romans had put them down back in the days of the chariots and no one had done one bit of maintenance since.

The road width narrowed also and the sight of tram lines and overhead wires immediately bought into mind that we could encounter a tram at some stage and where was there to go if it was coming at you.Thankfully the trams appeared to be only on one side of the road and eventually the tracks disappeared off to the left.However the overhead wires were still there and eventually we overtook a trolley bus picking up passengers.When I say 'we overtook it' might sound like the passing manouvre was easy however that was only because momentarily there was nothing coming the other way.

Then the greatest challenge of this drive happened and was the catalyst for Gretchen deciding to abandon Victorias instructions and head for the A3 as soon as she saw the next direction to it. My ideal was to stick with Victoria but in the end agree Gretchs dicision was the right one.

Still bumping over the 'Roman"cobbles we came up against a double parked truck which was unattended and traffic coming at us with no room to get by and a trolley bus hard up against our bumper.

A small,elderly Neopolitan gentleman came to our aid and waving his hands guided us ever so slowly with wing mirrors drawn in around the truck.How Gretchen managed it I still don't know but I am glad she was driving.We still couldn't make progress ahead and the bus was starting to get edgy but eventually we got a gap and we were away.

At the first direction sign to the A3 we changed direction to the left with Victoria bleating away in her very British voice to do a U turn or take the next right to get back to her impossible route.

One thing we have learnt with GPS is that the time it estimates it will take to get your destination is subject to the speed you can manage in the conditions and of course this would have been way short of what it would have actually taken had we stayed on that route.

We had to pay a whole €2 to ride the toll way A3 to Salerno but conditions for driving were a dream compared to the suburbs although the road was still being developed just as it was 4 years ago when we stayed in Sorrento around the coast from Naples.

Now we were making great progress heading in a generally southern direction and although you don't get close up to the locals on a motorway the scenery of little hamlets perched on top of impossible hillsides,the snow on the higher parts of the mountains and the green of the pasture land were all still visible as we motored along.

There were no more tolls to pay and we skirted around the port city of Salerno below us and on into a valley that ran between the mountains and more mountains to the sea.

We stopped at an Autogrill which usually pop up every 30 or 40 kms and had some lunch.Eating in these places is expensive so we will be more prepared with food for a boot lunch already made before we leave our accommodation in the future.

We split from the A3 after a brand new section of motorway complete with tunnels seemingly every few hundred metres and headed towards the coast.Along the way we spotted this delightful village closer to the road then we had spotted so far.It was one of those places that was perched on the hillside where you can't see any roads leading to them and the house so jam packed that there can't be any roads in the town either.This town was called Rivello and was picture perfect.

We arrived on the coast at Praia a Mare a place that looks like it is going ahead and was getting ready for the upcoming summer when we can imagine Neopolitans probably holiday here to get away from the craziness of Naples.

By now it was siesta time for the locals and we were looking for somewhere to buy dinner as tonight was to be the christening of the microwave but many of the stores looked to be closed.

We finally found a store not far from our destination and bought a bag of frozen tagiatelli,kiwifruit and bread rolls.The picture on the packet made it looked tasty and so it turned out.

Our hotel was above the SS18 and Victoria had it locked in to a tee.However we still overshot it and had to do a turn down the road to reach it.

We seemed to be the only people staying and there was a workman doing work on the building probably getting the place ready for the coming summer.The lady who greeted us was very friendly and spoke good English.When a fluffy cat appeared she said she loved cats and had 6 of them and took them to bed with her.

Our room had a lovely sea view and as we waited for dinner we watched the sunset into the sea.It was almost perfect but for a little bit of cloud that made the disappearing sun go hazy as it dropped below the horizon.

The microwave was simple to operate even though the instruction book was in Italian.One advantage is that it is also a convection oven so we should be able to grill in it as well.At just on NZ$100 it was a bargain as a similar LG model at home was about another NZ$60 more at Noel Leeming on special.It makes us self sufficient for dinners and breakfasts when they are not part of the accommodation deal.

With our comfy pillows we looked forward to another good nights sleep and be ready tomorrow for the shorter trip further south towards Sicily.

Distance travelled to day : 284km

Distance travelled since Tauranga : 19,298km


7th April 2013

What's that strange green glow...?
I'm pretty sure the Ministry of Health would have something to say about sleeping with a microwave right next to your bed!! Lovely sunset photo :-)
8th April 2013

True,but we just had the microwave there to cook as that was where the best surface next to a plug was.The microwave goes away in the green bag each night never fear. Can't wait for another sunset like that one.

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