We set the sextant, aligned the charts and set off on a north westerly bearing for the long drive home across Europe to England, with the plan to sell Ollie Bernard Vladimir McTavish Ludwig Camper Van Bake Oven on arrival.
Before we left the area we stopped in to visit Kate Cartwight, an old friend from Claygate and Esher College days, who now lives in the town of Meldola with her two boys Luis and Thom. We stayed close by in the beautiful town of Bertinoro at a warm and cozy agrotourismo owned by Kate’s friend Betta. http://www.lacanadolce.com/chisiamo.htm
Although Betta was away in Peru we were treated like family by her lovely parents, and we got some quality animal time with Mingo the dog and Pilou & Deena the cats. Betta’s mum Lorena offered us a crate of fresh persimmons from her orchard in exchange for adopting Jule….(it was tempting but after careful negotiation in broken Italian we were able to leave with a camper full of fruit AND both children)
We had a great time with Kate and the boys, proper cups of tea, giggles and chats were thoroughly enjoyed. We got to meet and dine with her British friends Thad and Chris (hope the tooth replacement went smoothly Thad), and we went to the cinema to see Tintin in Italian complete with a whispered running synopsis of the story by Kate.
It has been a while since we reported on the thrilling misadventures of our camper van. He has been behaving well mechanically (touch wood) but the road to Betta’s farm was long and steep, and proved to be too much for an underpowered, overweight, rear wheel driven van . To cut a long story short we managed to get down the hill with no problem but we couldn’t get back up the hill without smoke and spinning tires, so the next day Bettas’ dad kindly called his neighbor with a tractor to help get us out.
Once the tow out started it was a slow but otherwise effortless extraction and we were amazed at how incredibly powerful a tractor can be. The best thing about it was that the tractor was made by Lamborgini AND driven by a bloke who looked like he should have been one of the Rolling Stones.