And so onwards towards Rome. Planning the journey, it had seemed entirely feasible to plan in 5 hour drives.
However, it has become rapidly obvious that this is actually a bit ambitious. Routes always take longer than we anticipated, and when you add in stopping for lunch, you can add at least an hour on to every day. Six hours is just too long, really, and is making the travelling more exhausting than we expected.
So having come the five hours across Italy from Venice to Rome, tiredness and irritation were starting to set in. As the traffic built, we were keener than ever to find the campsite. Fighting into increasingly populated residential streets, however, it became clear that something was a bit wrong.
Hearing the satnav ping cheerfully that we had “reached our destination” merely caused us to sigh in tired frustration. Clearly we were not. Clearly we were simply on small residential side street. And finding our way to where we needed to be was a problem we didn’t need.
No passersby knew what we needed, and the phone number we had for the campsite merely went to an Italian automatic answerphone that I couldn’t understand. Thankfully I had my spreadsheet of information on all the sites on our route: plugging into the satnav the physical address rather than the name of the campsite told us we were 14 minutes away. The route to where we needed to be was right through a small, narrow, lined with park cars and very busy residential area.
The ultimate nightmare when you’re in a huge motorhome.
At this point I was rather proud that the husband didn’t actually have a breakdown.
Tense is not the word.
But he made it through unscathed, with a minimum of italian swearing and hooting aimed at us, and we finally ended back on the main carriageway we had left half an hour before. This time the satnav knew where we actually needed to be, and we managed to gain entrance to Campeggio Flaminio within a few relieved minutes.
Only to find that tonight starts a 24hr public services strike. No trains, buses or metro for our trip into Rome tomorrow…
Things we have learned today:
- when the toilet says ‘full’, it’s time to empty it. Whatever you do, don’t leave it till you’re at your next destination. If you were so foolish as to do such a thing, you *might* find that your toilet had overflowed wee, made travelling in the motorhome horribly smelly and made changing it a far messier job than it should have been. *cough*
- the mystery of the waste water is solved. Apparently, there’s a tap on the outside of the motorhome that turns off the grey water waste pipe. It had been left in the open position, so that every time we emptied the sink over the last three days it came straight out onto the ground… #oops.
- driving in the suburbs of Rome in a motorhome is no more fun than driving in the suburbs of Paris.
- public transport strikes are not the end of the world. According to our information host, we are simply to ‘go Italian’ tomorrow. Shrug our shoulders, stay relaxed, and see what the day brings. I quite like that advice, and we’ve decided that rather than stressing and fighting a hideous public transport system, we’re going to take a day off, relax, and just have the one day in Rome.
- having bread and meats and cheese and salad is totally enough dinner for a tired family, who all ate until they were groaning, and I didn’t have to cook a thing.
- thunderstorms in Rome are really LOUD and really exciting.
- Rome in September is still hot – 28 degrees today. The boys have to wear trousers to enter churches in Rome, and the only long trousers they have with them are jeans. A better parent would probably have thought about that in advance…