2016 Caravan Trip - Europe travel blog

In the old part of Lecce.

Many, many pretty churches.

Quaint streets in Lecce.

A water baby called Carolyn.

We were not sure if these two were for real or just...

The crowded beach at Otranto on a Sunday morning.

The lighthouse at the heel of Italy above the packed village of...

Saturday 9th July 2016

We are heading for a trip to the “heel” of Italy and rather than drag the caravan all the way there and back we are going on a car trip to Lecce. The biggest town in the area and so for a bit of luxury we have booked into the Hilton Garden Inn near the city centre and it has private parking and a roof top pool!

We arrive about 11am and manage to get into our room – lovely modern with a great bathroom – no more sharing for a day and so we walk into town for lunch pretty good but a tad slow service and then a wee wander through the lovely town – very historic and then back to the Hilton.

During the day the hotel runs a minibus to town and so we let it take the strain and get into the town and after a short stroll select a nice table in a pretty square lovely. The walk home in the darkening streets is a little scary but no bother.

Sunday 10th July 2016

We decide to stay another night and have a day trip South to the bottom of the “heel” of Italy. But it’s Sunday and whilst the roads leading to the coast are pretty quiet – once we hit the coast at 10.30am it’s heaving – The small coastal town of Otranto, where we had initially sought to stay was so busy, and the crowded beach and folk in the water made it look like it was mid afternoon.

So, we had a wander and a soft drink, then a look at the hotel we might have stayed at and then moved on South.

But it just got busier, cars parked everywhere, crowded beaches – and some just rocky foreshores – but mobbed – GOD!

There were so many cars parked/abandoned – that some of the two lane road became one – and not that wide! So, we stopped occasionally to take some pics – but it was becoming clear that we were not just going to roll into a nice little village and easily find a parking space!

So, we head all the way South to the tip of the “heel” of Italy at Santa Maria de Leuca – and yet again parking is an issue – and even the parking on the SatNav has closed down – but we head up to the lighthouse and find a space – have a wander and a bit of lunch –not great though, but my Aperol and Sprite was a change.

After all the parking problems and the late afternoon traffic jam that all these cars would cause we decide to head back to the hotel rather then more coast driving on the West coast. On the way down we had spotted a large Supermarket and Carolyn had remembered the km distance and so we stopped there and loaded the car up with booze – You can never have enough in the store cupboard!!

Monday 11th July 2016

Carolyn is up for another swim before we leave and we are on the road – through a Lecce traffic jam – by 10.30am – we swap over driving after about an hour and Carolyn drives us all the way back to the campsite.

Where it is HOT – and we still have our car space by the van. Bonus.

However, by evening the site is busy with only space in the overflow park – which the owners do not seem to tell folk about – so, Neil goes and helps out one family planning to spend the night on a slope and without electricity Good deed for the day.

Copyright Neil Tough@2016

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