Pootling in Puglia

Cruised along some roads like this, seeking out a good spot for the night.

Dave the motorhome has reached the end of the road, sorry, the end of a road. He’s a fat dune away from the beach and an unusually feisty Med on a lonely little beach road (N40.294355 E17.785862), which is near Lido Serra Degli Angeli, on the underside of the heel of Italy. We passed a number of villas on our dead end road here, every single one of them is shuttered shut; no-one is home. Like coasts everywhere, it’s pretty much completely abandoned around here during winter, which makes for easy free camping locations for us, pick a spot, any spot.

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Davus Maximus Wanderus, a shy creature, rarely photographed in the wild, out on a successful hunt for a sleeping spot in Puglia.
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Whao, run lads, he’s spotted us, he’s gonna charge!

Although we were sleeping at the side of the road last night, the relief at finding somewhere out of the argggh-blowing-us-into-oncoming-traffic wind and the tiredness at a hard day’s cruising the road (Italians drive like they’re on fire I’d like to say, they’re crazy fools behind the wheel) knocked us both out. We slept like dogs and, of course, no one bothered us. It seems the poorer the place, the fewer rules there are and the more freedom you have. Puglia’s reputed to be pretty poor, like the rest of the south of Italy, but from what everyone’s telling us it’s still a fab spot with incredible baroque cities and wonderfully free coast, we can’t wait.

It rained this morning. Good old fat rain. Lightening, thunder, flooded steps up into Massafra, the works. Charlie got a few laughs in his dog coat as we dragged the reluctant mutt along for a quick look around town. The place looked nice enough, but the mixture of hammering rain and grey skies had us outa there sharpish.

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Massafra’s split by a canyon (like Rhonda in Spain, but less spectacularly). Unlike it’s Iberian counterpart, Greek monks a thousand years back dug out caves for churches in the side of the ravine. You can get guided tours to ’em, if the tourist office is open (it wasn’t) and you can be bothered (we couldn’t).
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More Massafra. I wonder why towns grow up on two sides of a ravine? Seems a teeny bit inconvenient to me?
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The steps into Massafra. Nope, there are no drains, the water just pours out through the stairways up into town. Wet boots time!

Today’s been an easy to describe day, hoorah! We:

Drove right past Taranto, described by the Rough Guide as fighting a losing battle with the steel industry. No doubt the locals love the place as it looked busy with industry, but it looked pig ugly to us.
Drove right past Taranto, described by the Rough Guide as ‘fighting a losing battle with the steel industry’. No doubt the locals love the place as it looked busy with industry, but it looked pig ugly to us. A load of massive brown signs advertising Magna Graecia historical stuff looked, fittingly, like lipstick on a pig.
Cruised along some roads like this, seeking out a good spot for the night.
Cruised along some roads like this, seeking out a good spot for the night. Unlike the north of Italy, there’s hardly any of the end-to-end ticky tacky shoreline development here, it’s beautiful.
Hoped the towns we passed aren't the baroque wonders we're hearing much about!
Hoped the towns we passed aren’t the baroque wonders we’re hearing much about! As you can see, they’re devoid of life in March.
Fooled about on the beach, read a little and wrote a little.
Fooled about on the beach, read a little and wrote a little.

It’s even easier than normal to be us at the moment! Take it easy in the snow back home folks.

Cheers, Jay

8 Comments

  1. Hey you two, just bought MMM and read your article. Fabulous, well done! My feet are getting it hire by the day it’s gonna be 2013 or else there’ll be he’ll to pay. Take care

    • Hi Deryck. Wow! Only 2 winters outside the UK and we’ve forgotten what it’s like! We’d lose Charlie in a ten foot snow drift these days, maybe Dave too! Cheers for writing and stay warm. Jay

  2. Feel envious, we are off to Dubrovnik in Suzy our motorhome in less than a month. Cannot wait. We know where we would rather be and that is Italy. You are so lucky – work gets in the way unfortunately. Its miserable here in Wales. Had enough of the snow need a bit of sun

    • Hi Jennifer! Croatia? Awesome, we loved it, especially Hvar island (apart from the narrow road running the length of it!). When we arrived in Dubrovnik it was pushing 35 degrees, we roasted. Have a fabulous time, Jay

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