The last time I wrote a blog me & Victor were all set for a salbrious night’s nobility, camping in the grounds of a stately hunting lodge. Unfortunately, the owner’s daughetr came back & discovered that, as Id moved the chairs from the porch that her mumd had hidden the key to the house under one of the pillows on the cgair, she couldnt get in! Cue a wee bit of pandemonium & fast-thingking itlain chat from me, & before you knew it the police had been called, but a few moments later the key was found, & a few minutes after that me & Vic had packed up the tent (in the dark) & were out of there before the police could arrive. We ended up back on the beach for a pleasant enough night.
From there we jumped trains down into Pescara. Its a solid enough city, with glorious long golden beaches & a relxed vibe. After watching the Manchester Derby, we headed out of the city & up into the hills, to Loreto Alfrunti. My word, what a lovely town, the royal ruby set in a world of olive trees – the place is famous for its olive oil I guess. The first night we camped, & the second night we sqauatted a very cool old house, which gave us a our first proper beds in two weeks – much to Victors home-comfort seeking delight.
Also in the town we met an English ex-pat, who recently sold his house in Bolton & entered the property market in this region of the Arruzzo – the new Tuscany apparently. He was a likeable chap & was from Rawtenstall, near Burnley. Indeed, in his l;ifetime he has been the last stall-holder on Padiham market & even taught at my old secondary school – Gawthorpe High – as a supply teacher. He was half Italian &, at the age of 47, had gone off in search of his roots, whose Itlain language is laced with a very thick Northern English accent. It was chuckling to see him teaching some Italian toddlers English in the local library, who now thing ‘but-tee’ is the proper word for a sandwich!
& so for the arrival of Mr Underwood. Me, Vic, the Bendrix & him had all been a part of Saraswathi – whicvh will be reforming in the new year, so its nice to have him over. A couple of days back we’d gone down to Pescara airport & camped a mile away in some lush countryside. Then Paul arrives on a late night plane & we went off back to base full of high spirits. These were hardly dented by teh arrival of the carabineri, who told us to put out our fire & turn the music off, checked our passports & left us to it. ‘Benevenuto in Italia’ I told Paul, & meant it.
Yesterday we caught a coach from Pescara to Rome (15 quid), foraging through the glorious scenery of the Appenine ridge; a mix of hilltop towns, castles, narrow ravines & soaring peaks. Id took my shoes off as I got on, to dry off mi socks a bit – but the guys sat behind me told me to put ‘em back on – i guess thats two weeks on the road for ya. However, things are now looking up. Ive took the guys to teh Forte Prenestina – a great hippy instution in the Roman suburbs. Theres about 20 regulars who sleep in the old barracks, plus bars, stages, arts spaces, studios & the such like. Wer are staying in the dormitary here, for free, & by catching the nearby number 5 tram we’re in the centre of Rome in 25 minutes. So its on to the great city of Ceasar, Augustus & Nero – & of course, Damo!