190 – Tuesday 27th October 2015: Driving Day
J up very early for a call of nature and then nature called to him. He captured some super shots of the sunrise.
K pilates’d and left her Pilates mat drying at the camperstop …. Grrr! Very happy on this site, which was more like a campsite due to the facilities and the views. Only EUR30 for 2 nights and the lift to and from the town.
Drove for a good stint to the campsite in Pompei. Traffic around Naples / Pompei is like Jordan, where we were at the start of April. Mad. Cars and bikes all leaping out without indicating, but beeping their horns as if this gives them a God given priority over other road users. Decision made: Whilst in the area, we will walk and use public transport! We are on Spartacus Campsite and it is virtually opposite the Pompei ruins, 400m from a Carrefour (more expensive than other super markets we have used, but not unexpected due to the touristy area) and 400m in the other direction from the Circumvesuvia Train station which runs between Naples and Sorrento. Ideal.
191 – Wednesday 28th October 2015: Parting of Ways and Mega Munchkin Hugs
An early start. Train and then airport bus for K’s flight home to see her Munchkin and Aged P’s.
K’ Story: Easy flight and train to North Camp where I was met by Munchkin. Maddy passed her test two weeks ago and she picked me up in Beryl (minty Fiat 500). As I alighted from the train, there she was with her keys in her hand …. all grown up!
Having tried on a multitude of clothes eBay parcels which had arrived, Munchkin and I went shopping. I am the one in dire need of clothes, as I have now lost 7 stone folks! … yes, I am delighted), but Maddy still managed to come out with PJs, a jumper and wooly socks … how do they do it?
Maddy and I walked around the corner for an indifferent supper… food, not the company! Fine weather.
J’s Tale: J returned to Chardonnay, having mis-navigated without K’s sense of direction and did some chores (you really don’t need to know about chemical toilets in detail). Had a walk in the afternoon. It was raining.
192 – Thursday 29th October 2015: Artefacts
K’ Story: K ran along the Basingstoke canal in the early morning sun …
And then battled through the traffic to collect Martha and Tabitha. Can you guess our destination … a belated birthday excursion for Munchkin.
Yep, the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I was not sure I would enjoy it, but it was truly brilliant. So Interesting. It is the studios where the 7 films were made. The artefacts (sets, props and costumes) are so detailed with masses of work involved. There is excellent information on how the films outside the actors is crafted … there are some VERY clever people involved. And yes, we tried Butterbeer. Just a shame that the traffic in the S of England is so shite. Nice to drive my car though. After 6 months of driving on the right, Maddy only had to check me once and going around roundabouts felt contrary to turn to the left.
J’s Tale: J visited the Archilogical museum in Naples. It is the top visitor attraction for Naples, but some of was a bit lost as he had not yet visited Pompei, which is whence many of the artefacts came from. Also expensive at EUR13 and no concessions. It was still raining!
193 – Friday 30th October 2015: Chores, shopping and a birthday
K’s Story: Finally raining here too, so no run. Maddy had a motorway lesson recently but this was her first motorway drive … M3 to Southampton. A good hour each way and she did really well, other than a few ‘trust issues’ with gear 5…. yes you can get it out of 5, honest. Oh, and a little bit of stress from the driver whilst we were still on my parent’s drive as I’d done the wrong thing and said … nothing!
Southampton – my last Apple 121 … really worthwhile and more shopping. Even a couple of Christmas presents! Lunch was an interesting experience: is wanting to be waiter served too much to ask? After several walk outs due to long waits, we ended up in Gregs bakery: M demolished a sausage roll and managed to drip donut jam into a shopping bag and I had yummy Heinz tomato soup …. sooo good.
In the evening we celebrated Grump’s birthday … really good to see Clare, Chris, Niecey, Louis and even Zozo! Most excellent nosh and Macedonia wine, which the Aged P’s brought back from a recent trip in their suitcase.
After the meal, I caught a train to Gatwick and slept at a Travel Lodge as my flight on Saturday was very early.
I loved being with Maddy and my family, but it was all very busy. Tried to pack too many jobs into a short space of time. Ho hum!
J’s Tale: Time to catch up …. chores. Cleaned Chardonnay and treated himself to a local pizza. Still raining!
194 – Saturday 31st October 2015
7.05 flight back to Naples. J met me in the centre and we came back to Chardonnay to dispose of my heavy bag … I’d managed to bring back nearly all of my eBay purchases. A mega nanny nap and slept too long so I felt rotten on awaking. We wandered into Pompei town proper … nothing to remark about it as nothing remarkable. Fantastic trip seeing Maddy and family, but good to be back home.