In Search of Gas

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Today didn’t go exactly to plan. We drove to Camigliatello Silano during the morning expecting to have at least one night here to do some further walking, but when we stopped for breakfast we noticed the light on the fridge was flashing red. This is a sure sign that we are out of gas. Often the fridge will then run for a day or two with the occasional hiccup requiring us to re-ignite the burner. This time, however, the fridge was not going to play ball.

We might have decided to live with this for 24 hours – the fridge was pretty cool and takes a long time to warm up – however our freezer was stocked up and we didn’t want to risk any of it defrosting. So, after a bacon and egg buttie, we went in search of some LPG.

LPG has been pretty easy to find in Italy and there was an ENI garage with LPG only a short distance from Camigliatello, but for some unknown reason it was closed and you cannot self-serve LPG in Italy. A look on the app and the nearest LPG was on the outskirts of Cosenza only 40k away down a main road so off we hopped. We found a garage with lpg but it was now the lunchtime break and we couldn’t get lpg until the attendant got back. We took a trip to the Lidl next door to while away the time – the sort of Lidl trip where you find yourself looking through their tat aisles even though you know you have no interest in buying anything. Finally the lunch  break was over and we joined a queue of vehicles waiting for lpg. By this time we had lost our desire to go back up to the mountains via the pot holed and noisy road; we decided to head onwards instead, to Italy’s instep.

We drove north of the Sila mountains and over to the Ionian coast. A lot of this drive was on major roads, the A2 and SS106, but between the two we had to take a detour due to some road widening which took us through sparsely populated countryside. There was something appealing about this part of Italy. It’s poor and isn’t dense with cultural and historic landmarks like much of the rest of Italy, but it had a feeling of peace and serenity.

We found ourselves a sosta by the coast near Nova Siri Scalo. A well maintained spot where we found the logo of Basilicata In Camper – a tourist board initiative to promote motorhome tourism in the area. Here the services were free due to a technical malfunction of the machine, there was even electricity (for a small fee). A few Italian vans were packing up and leaving after their Easter break, leaving us with a German van that looked familiar. When they returned later that afternoon we realised we had been parked next to them in Canalello. We stopped for a chat and exchange of information, they were off to Matera the following day and we wouldn’t be far behind them.

We took an evening stroll along the lungomare in the company of a few joggers and walkers. The facilities here were still definitely in their winter hibernation but it was clean and tidy unlike many Italian resorts that seem to attract refuse until a final clean up just before they open in summer. We particularly liked the street art benches which looked as though they had been a A-level art project.

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