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Camper and camper

July 12, 2013

My reward for driving around 800km in 6 days in a 44-year-old camper, not fitted with air conditioning or power assisted steering, and with a top speed of 80kms unless you were prepared to take your life and the lives of all other motorists you encounter in your hands, was another visit to Ikea. It seems that the Nice Lady Decorator had “forgotten” to buy some very important items when I had been subjected to the first dismal visit a few days ago on our way to Tuscany. This entailed another visit to the nasty Scandy store on the way back yesterday. When pressed she did not seem to be able to identify any of these most important purchases, but was I surprised? No.

Driving any vehicle in Italy is to engage in a kind of Russian Roulette. That line in the middle of the road that Brits and most other sane driving nations use to try to ensure that one stays on ones own side of the road, seems to be studiously ignored by Italians. Perhaps they all have line blindness? At every T junction where you have the right of way, an Italian motorcycle or a Fiat Punto badly misjudge the amount of time they have to pull out in front of you. The other irritating aspect of driving in Italy is that Italians like to wait at a Zebra crossing until the last possible second and then set off across the street studiously ensuring that they look in neither direction. If they had any idea of the age and delayed response time of the braking technology with which I was fighting, then they would have been mad not to take a backwards step. Perhaps they did know and they are all mad. Perhaps, like me, they are not that keen on Italian food and are collectively in search of a quick end?

Bluebell from above

camper in italy

Anyway, exhausted after several near pedestrian wipe outs and 200km mostly uphill, and of fighting to keep Bluebell on the road, we made it close to Imperia on the Italian Riviera where we made camp. There is nothing gay about that. It was on a campsite called Frantonio. They have a deep recession in Italy, the campsite was just about full, there is no restaurant within 3kms, but was their very attractive looking open air restaurant open? Oh no. That would have been too logical. A captive audience of some 200 people on the site and you close the restaurant. It is probably open at Christmas when there is nobody here. This an illustration of the commercial aptitude of a stunned tortoise. Perhaps they were closed because they serve Italian food and nobody likes it?

Earlier, we had stopped for yet more retail therapy as That Nice Lady Decorator had spotted another market at a town called Rapallo. Being a doyen of the rap scene, I was keen to hear what Italian rappers were saying but it was all in Italian. This is of course an outrageous untruth. In reality. I have no interest in what they are saying. I am fairly certain that street references to pizza and pasta may have limited sales potential.

So the Italian camping odyssey is at an end and we shall be back in the warm embrace of Valbonne this afternoon. I have a real treat in store for me when I arrive, a meeting with the French tax authorities, who sent to want to charge me thousands in tax despite the fact that I earned nothing in the two months when I was in France last year. I really am a pauper, which is why I have to spend some of each day writing this nonsense so that you will all sign up for Currencies Direct.

Chris France
@Valbonne_News

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