Sunday, 25 July 2010

Day 9: Italy via Austria to sent, Switzerland

I don't understand. Last night we were still in Italy. Definitely. I checked with GPS. But everyone spoke German. The menu at the campsite was only in German, not Italian. I don't get it. And more importantly, I didn't understand it. We were so desperate to get to Italy cos we partially understand most of the words, but that dream was long gone I'm afraid.

Another issue with our campsite was that, although clean and new, the toilet block was about 2 miles away from our threadbare pitch. Sarah almost had a little accident this morning before getting there.

The cool temperatures dropped to bloody freezing in the middle of the night. I wore a strappy top, tshirt, hoodie and PJ bottoms and was still shivering (although the cheapo sleeping bag barely comes to my armpits. Sarah refused to use it. It didn't reach her waist). When sarah woke up she said I looked like Kenny from southpark with my hood up.

Today's task was to drive the stelvio pass. Sarah wanted to take the quickest route, cos apparently we'd seen enough mountains, and I wanted to take the scenic route on winding mountain roads. A small argument ensued. I won (obviously) as long as I drove. At 10am we set off, but didn't end up getting to the stelvio pass until 2. To get there we drove on some amazing roads, some single track without barriers. We thought they couldn't be topped. However. The stelvio pass was fantastic. The roads seemed to wind around forever. Sarah counted 43 360 degree corners on the way down. It was so cold up there. We could touch the snow in places, and the Alps looked like they weren't even real. On the way down, it was so steep and windy that the brakes started to smell and go all spongy (I think that's a bad thing)

This left us, at 4.30 without a hope in hells chance of reaching our Austrian campsite, as planned. We decided on a Swiss campsite that was only an hour away. The road we took meant we dipped our toes in Austria anyway. Win!

The campsite is a grassy bit in the middle of a valley next to a wood, and runs a free for all basis. If you can find a bit of grass to pitch up, its yours. Unfortunately we didn't have any Swiss francs ( since our robbery.....*sad face*) so we drove to the nearest town for some before getting tea (of pasta...we didn't understand the German menu). This meal was long anticipated by sarah, who hasn't taken favourably to the rations I've been imposing. We can't afford much (again, since the robbery...), so we had cream cheese on a slice of bread again, and some biscuits. We would have had crisps but those were her mid morning snack (after a 11am breakfast of artificial croissants).

Its good to be back in Switzerland. I didn't like the unauthentic northern Italy (which was essentially Germany). It cheated me out of the traditional Italy I was hoping for.

Good news on the car front. We found a garage that had facilities to mend the poor donkeys front hoof, and gave the other 3 a quick buff as well. She's now handling like a stallion again!

Bad news on the laundry front. Our trusty towels have been good to us. Daily showers, frequent sunbathing (or lake swimming), occasional extra bedding for me, mop for exploded suncream. They've paid their dues. And now they fucking stink! We thought the car smelt of rotting food...turned out to be our towels! And it doesn't look like we'll get to wash them before we come back. There's a chance we too may smell of rotting food by the time we return. That's if they don't disintegrate before then.

Tomorrow: who the hell knows. We're going to see which campsites we fancy and head there. Although we are popping into Lichtenstein, for sure.

Unfortunately we have no photos to upload today, cos we have no wifi.

Countries: 5
Empty bottles of water currently in the car: 7
Full bottles of water currently in the car: 2
Nights of Italian food: 6
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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