A Life in the Slow Lane

It’s not all sunshine and skittles

I woke up in the early hours of the morning to hear the, now not so familiar, sound of rain drumming on Basil’s glass reinforced plastic roof. RAIN!!! In Britain this is the constant of tent, caravan or motorhome holidays, but we haven’t seen rain since 5th March. That’s more than 3 weeks of sunshine, so I suppose we shouldn’t complain.

Camping Mimosa

By the time Sarah took the dogs for their morning walk the rain had stopped, but the skies have been cloudy the whole day.

We contemplated taking Basil to the shops, but I couldn’t find the campsite owner and the gates were resolutely locked. We were effectively being held against our will. When, later in the day, I did manage find him he gave me a key to the gates, but by then the urge to shop had left us.

The beach here at Camping Mimosa, is huge and completely empty. Sarah has taken the dogs several times to scamper on the shore. I managed to stir myself on a couple of occasions. The sand on the beach is extremely soft, which makes walking any distance difficult.

The beach at Camping Mimosa

Mabel and Melek are fascinated, in a way that they haven’t been on other beaches, with tide line. They walk along the latest high tide mark their noses a millimetre or so from seaweed and other detritus. Melek has even gone so far as to find a particularly enticing smell and enthusiastically dig with one paw to reach whatever it is that is so attractive to his doggy senses.

This tide line smells lovely

Melek loves chasing sticks!

The problem with plastics in the world’s oceans is very obvious on this beach. When you walk along the tide line and look closely there is a sprinkling of extremely bright colours. These are not bits of rock or even glass, they are all tiny fragments of plastic. It is now believed that plastics, when ingested by sea dwelling organisms, can have a major adverse impact on the food chain. From looking on this beach it is a major problem in the Mediterranean.

Plastics on the tide line

Italy is a very seismically active country. It sits on the fault line between the Eurasian and African tectonic plates. This firstly means that it is very prone to earthquakes as the two plates rub against each other, but also the weakness of the earth’s crust at the boundary between the plates allows molten magma to come to the surface and create volcanoes. We have already seen Mount Etna and from the beach on this campsite we can see Stromboli smoking or steaming away. Later this week, when we go back slightly north we may just get a glimpse of the third big Italian active volcano, Mount Vesuvius.

Stromboli

Finally I have another one in my occasional series of generalisations about the countries of Europe based on extremely limited evidence, gleaned from this trip. Today Italian conversations. When two Italians have a conversation, to our ears it often sounds as if they are having an argument. Animated, loud, accompanied by expansive gesture and often what appears to be an angry face. We have seen this so often and in so many situations, they cannot all be arguing: it must just be the Italian way of conversing. The other aspect is volume. At our last campsite we were parked with a group of Germans, Swiss, one Brit (us) and one Italian. Everyone was holding conversations, but the only ones we could here, all day long, was the Italian man and wife conversing. Only one volume โ€“ very loud.