10th October 2016. Casaleggio Boiro, Italy.

We’re off to our next Italian stop today further West, when we looked out of the window this morning the leaves were throwing themselves off the trees and it felt very Autumny.

Having mentioned the church bells here they played a different ‘tune’ this morning, it started very slowly and intermittently then gradually returned to the ‘tune’ we’d been hearing on and off over the last few days, it was almost as if they were training someone!

We stopped off beside Lake Garda on our way out.  We couldn’t leave the area without visiting it.  It was beautiful and nice and quiet but it was very built up around it so we could just imagine how full it gets normally.

Darren decided I needed to paddle in Lake Garda, it was reasonably warm unlike the absolutely freezing water that I’d paddled in at Schmelz.

We had a slight issue when we got to the toll booth, we didn’t know how to use it!  We spent a length of time panicking and then I suddenly remembered the toll road we’d used in France years ago (that had been a panicky time too because somehow between the time we’d taken the ticket and the time we wanted to leave the motorway we’d misplaced the ticket!  Impossible we thought but never the less we had.  Luckily I found the ticket just as we got to the Toll booth) so Darren pressed the button and a ticket appeared.

The rest of the journey was fairly unremarkable as we went on the autostrada this time.  We did discover when we ordered a coffee at the services that a caffé americano (medio) is actually a double espresso, phew! Just call me Fry (do you remember that episode of Futurama boys?)

We’ve just seen an illuminated sign across the motorway warning about smoke beside the motorway so we were wondering whether Mark and Lucy had somehow raced ahead of us in Frankie (joking apart we hope your brakes have recovered from your terrifying journey yesterday) but when we got up there we discovered it was just the farmers burning stubble in the fields.

I take it back, it just became very remarkable, the sosta is in the mountains and we’ve just turned into a village via an extremely tight, blind bend, luckily the cars coming the other way held back to let us through and we could see the road narrowed at other end of the ‘high street’ where Darren had to squeeze the van between two buildings (where most of the corner of the building was missing!), no wonder there were lots on ‘no lorries’ signs!.  We’re hoping there’s a better route out.

I should have realised the sosta would be in the mountains as it’s in wine country, we drove along twisty turny roads through the vineyards and through another little village (feeling a bit panicky this time when we saw the road bend into the village but the road didn’t narrow this time.  The sosta was in the third village we went through hidden down another narrow lane behind all the houses.

It looks like it must be busy there at times because there were a number of electric hook up points but we were the only van there this time.

We had a walk through the village which seemed deserted until I started taking photos of the castle on the other side of the valley.

I saw a lady walking her dog up the road we were on and her dog came up to greet me so I said hello to him.  That was her cue to start talking to us.  She spoke ‘nineteen to the dozen’, at one point we think she mentioned the word castle, at what point do you tell someone you really have no idea what they’re saying.  When she’d begun talking we said we didn’t speak Italian but that didn’t seem to bother her in the slightest.  It was lovely of her to stop and ‘chat’, she eventually ran out of things to say and wandered off smiling.

We had a bit of a walk round the village and wandered up to the church.  I was really surprised to see the state it was in, it was falling apart.  The views from behind the church were beautiful though.

We were hoping to find a restaurant for an evening meal but everything was closed and by the time we’d got back into the van we ‘d decided to eat in the van.  I’m glad we did because a deer ran past the van twice while we were looking out, unfortunately all I got was a blurry photo of him!

I commented earlier about how there weren’t so many church bells ringing in Italy so far.  I really should keep my mouth shut, the church on the hill in the village had a clock which rang every half hour.  Apart from that and the distant sound of dogs barking in the other villages it was very quiet.

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