It was a cold, wet trip through France with rain ranging from light to torrential most of the way. We stayed one night in the Champagne-Ardennes region near Geraudot after driving about 400kms before making out way to Italy travelling 500kms throught the Burgundy and Rhone-Alps regions to our campsite west of Turin. We avoided the very expensive Mt Blanc/Frejus tunnel by detouring over the Alps which turned out to be a very long way around in a lot of fog and then rain.

After fighting with Vodafone Italy regarding our telephone packages and me telling them that they were all thieves we finally got someone to help us after parting with more euros to get some telephone and internet time. We got to our next campsite “Gran Bosco” in the mountains on dark but at least it had stopped raining although it was very wet underfoot. We were lucky that next morning we awoke to brilliant sunshine and a view of the mountains, some with snow on them already.

Facebook can be very useful and it was because our friends Ksenia and Faisal were also in the area and we met up with them for lunch in Turin. We hadn’t seen Ksenia since India and before that Moscow so it was lovely to catch up with her and meet her Dutch boyfriend of Egyptian descent.

After a long lunch we headed south east to Rimini and then on to have a look at the Republic of San Marino which loomed up ahead on a hilltop. There were many tourists and school groups there so we had a quick look and then made our way back to the coast and down to “Eurocamping” at Roseto degli Abruzzi to do some housekeeping for two nights before heading back to our base at Roccamandolfi.

By the 10th October when we arrived back the fog had set in for two days and then a day of brilliant sunshine which makes everything look much better. We spent the week taking everything out of the van, getting it washed and spending time with friends. I also managed to persuade two of my cousins to come to see us as it is only about 2hours from where they live. We had a nice Sunday lunch. We also helped a friend Maria celebrate her 60th birthday at a local restaurant. Maurice was suffering from sinusitis and me a cold so we would be glad to leave the colder weather. We had the fire on every night and the top part of the village where we stayed was a lot cooler than down below.

We had an early flight from Rome so caught the train from Isernia on the 17th October and left for Dubai on the 18th.

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