Easy ride towards the toe of Italy


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Europe » Italy » Calabria » Briatico
April 5th 2013
Published: April 5th 2013
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Todays Gelato flavours - GMB - Limone and GLB - Chocolate(she reckons she will be into the fruit Gelatos once it warms up a bit more)

Dawn arrived a bit later as we are now well and truly on the west coast and when it did, we were back to the overcast start to the day that most of the days we have had in Italy have been.

On opening up the laptop we were pleased to see Ruth in Tauranga there on Skype and we had a good catch up with her although Owen was still out working so we will have to catch up with him next time.

Breakfast was the best and most varied we have experienced so far with so many options from cereals to croissants to cake and a fried egg cooked by the host thrown in with ham and salami on the side.Plus the smallest but strongest coffee,Italian style,we have ever had.It was hardly more than a mouthful but man was it powerful and we actually made it last for 3 sips before it was gone!

With the car loaded we were on our way feeling well rested and full from the heartiest breakfast yet.

Gretchen must have been feeling more relaxed about the traffic because we got a few kilometres down the road and she pulled over and asked if I wanted to have my first drive of Cindy.

Now I should add at this point that Gretchen is not the best passenger and prefers to be in charge of the wheel when she is in a car which suits me as it means I can take all the scenery in.

The road follows the coast although the beaches weren't all that attractive with mostly stony foreshores.As it has been since we reached the coast back at Praia A Mare the towns were pretty much deserted other than for a few locals seemingly waiting for the summer to arrive and the accommodations to fill up.

We made Amantea by midday and spotted a Lidl store on the main road as we passed through so we decided to do some shopping for dinner purchasing another very large punnet of strawberries which will last us 2 deserts at least along with a chicken cordon bleu and a local Pinot Grigio for €1.69 and a red for €1.49 plus a Peroni 750ml for €1.Can't believe just how cheap the prices are and no supervisor has to come and sign off the check out because we are buying alcohol, as in NZ!

We had several nights out earlier in the journey in Rome and Pozzuoli and did not see any drunkenness.So what is the difference between Italy and NZ when it comes to consuming booze.Price does not appear to be an issue encouraging people to drink to excess because the price is much lower than in NZ.We think it is down to what has developed in Italy over many years of alcohol being treated as part of having a social life and a having a target to aim at as to how much an individual can drink as in NZ.

We continued south with bright sunshine now having taken over from the overcast that we started out in.The traffic volumes were light making for pleasurable driving and giving time to take in the scenery without having to be too concerned at the opposing traffic taking undue risks.

We left the SS18 near Pizzo and carried on the SS522 which hugged the coast with the road high above the ocean giving panoramic views of the coastline ahead at various spots as we continued south.

We drove through Briatico and onto what essentially is a suburb of the coastal town with the apartment we had for the night being in the local commune.

Although it was now well into siesta time a couple of locals were on the streets and one of them was helpful to us by phoning the host of the apartment building we were to stay at and 5 minutes later she arrived.

We had an interesting discussion using her computer while we agreed on whether Booking.com had actually charged our travel card or whether we needed to pay her in cash.After checking the email confirmation of the booking we agreed our card had not been charged but used just as a confirmation of the booking and cash changed hands.

Later we took a stroll down the hill to Briatico village and down to the promenade which ran along the cliff above the ocean.Effectively there is no beach in the village area.

By now it was getting on towards 5pm and the locals were stirring from their siesta with most of the action from a group of middle aged and elderly men outside the Jolly Bar,one of a couple of watering holes in the village.

It always seems to be only men in and around the bars and one wonders why the wives don't get invited to join them.

We made eye contact with most of the people we passed offering a 'buona sera'and in almost all instances got the same greeting back.However the locals must have wondered who the hell we were and where we were from as we don't think they see too many outsiders in the village outside vacation time.

The gelateria on the promenade was closed and we were concerned we would miss out on another gelato.

However on our stroll back through the village we spied a place that was open and although the choice was limited I was able to move on from the chocolate flavoured gelatos I have had so far although I still have a way to go to get Gretchen to try something else other than chocolate based.

Back home we relaxed with the Peroni and chippies and a DVD before it was dinner time.

Don't want to be too late tonight as we want to hit the road fairly smartly tomorrow as we have about 100km to go to where we need to catch a ferry across to Sicily and onto our overnight accommodation on the east coast of the island at Giardini-Naxos.

Distance travelled today : 118km

Distance travelled since Tauranga : 19416km

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8th April 2013

Cheap accommodation
I can now see how you are able to keep the BBA v2 budget on track by staying at some "very" cheap hotels/apartments. I presume your room is in the building on the right. With a roof like that I hope it didn't rain.

Tot: 3.861s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 25; qc: 95; dbt: 0.0682s; 3; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb