Saturday, 20 October 2012

Italy - Cropani Marina, Calabria.

We left our camperstop at Paestum, Catania region, around midday and stopped (again) at the local Carrefour supermarket to stock up. The guy at the deli counter remembered us from our previous visit.
We latched straight onto the A3 wanting to cover some distance going ever further south and escape the weather and rain that was forecast for the Naples/Salerno region. We already had a foretaste of the thunder and lightning the night before. Roadworks are constant on the A3 with new tunnels and motorway improvements ongoing. Average speed was less than 30mph in places.
Tuesday 16 Oct saw us using the coast road from Paola (Calabria) onwards to Catanzaro, crossing the foot of Italy from west to east in the process. Calabria is mainly agricultural and small farms are much in evidence. As mentioned before the wealth and opulence often seen in northern Italy is absent this far south. We made for a camperstop near Cropani close to the beach, and so it turned out to be being just 200m from it. Low season means mostly empty camperstops, so the peace and quiet and having all the space to yourself is a huge bonus. We decided to stay four days, which became seven days.

Peace and quiet
Whether it is the economic downturn or the fading popularity of beach clubs (or whatever they are called) I don't know, but judging by the state of many we have seen, they are nothing but an eyesore. If the owners cannot afford their upkeep, why are they still spoiling otherwise beautiful beaches? Rotting wood, rusting iron, dead plants, all manner and means of flotsam and jetsam and discarded rubbish. Tear them down, clean up the mess and you may just find tourists returning to your beaches! It comes as no surprise that many Germans and Dutch have forsaken the Italian beaches for those in Croatia, judging by the number of motorhomers from those countries we came across in Croatia.
Pity all these 'beach clubs'
However, our camperstop was (is) wonderful! The owner is hands-on and ready to help regardless the query. Basic but clean ablutions, washing machine, secure site with two Alsatian guard dogs and the luxury of having all the space you want (low season in October). Minimal pollution, resulting in fresh air and a star laden sky at night. Warm sea at 24C and daytime temp reaching 25C and this at the end of October. The nights are cool with the mercury going down to 15C, which is still more than London's day time temperature this time of year.
We have been swimming each day and some days go to the beach morning and afternoon. This you can't grumble at! There is a nearby Carrefour supermarket which is well stocked with all items.
To be continued ....

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