En route to Rome I noticed a big vulcanic crater on the map, it looked interesting. The Lago di Bracciano has lush green banks, the air is clean and was humid. It has both a tropical and otherworldly feel. Like on the banks of Lago di Como (in some places) you can see the world as if modernity hasn’t happened yet.
I contemplated cycling around it, but a runner that left the spot I parked at to walk a bit came back and my phone was empty. You can though run or cycle around it.
The above was part of the ‘before Rome’ places I checked out, then Rome and then the below. Because I wanted to get to Napels I kinda moved on, stopping on the coast at Terracina, which wasn’t that special. The next location had been on my list for a while, a tourist attraction as its supposed to be the italian equivalent of Versailles : Caserta. The city itself is
I think throughout the ages people have been impressed by big architecture, and it has been used to subdue people by subconsciously suggestig there are giants around. Caserta’s stairs and arches are the same, you feel like an ant crawling around the grounds..
As tourist traps go this one is nice, you are out in the open, the air is clean, there’s things to see. The staired ponds have fish in them..
The driving had become pretty routineous, Napels was the part I never reached before (except by rail). Due to the break-in in Turin I wasn’t eager to be in the city itself, so I drove up the vulcano. There I discovered you need a ticket and book well ahead (a month preferably) or no access.
As you can see on the picture above there is a row of telephone poles that go right to the valley. I found it pretty comical, if not anachronistic (but you can love that). Imagine Vesuvius erupts, the carabinieri on watch nervously phones Napels “Sta scoppiando! (It is erupting!)” the reply is pretty dry “Yes, we can see that!”.
I found a pretty good parking spot with a nice view of the vulcano as well as the coast/Napels. I tried to avoid the city, but was interested in the mud baths. I drove down to a part of Napels called Baia, where you find Therme di Baia. There I discovered my bathing clothes where also robbed, and I dithered around. I decided to just enjoy the day on the beach there. I checked out Lago Miseno, a tiny lake with a narrow road by it. I am fascinated by all the vulcanic geology around Italy.
At this point I was done with all the narrow and steep roads and navigating with a big EV camper so I decided to just drive to the place everyone wants to visit, the Amalfi coast, Positano..
The road to Positano is nice in the way it reveals an almost unreal coastline, with impossible steep rocky slopes and a clear sea below. The coastal road is of course winding and bussy with motorcycles busses and cars. I did manage to find a spot to park and spend the night.
The actual town Positano has a beach you can descend towards via stairs through a maze of shops and restaurants. In front of the coast people with big yachts and tenders do their exclusive dance
I guess the trick to these places is to arrange your transportation so it is seamless, then arrange your hotel so you are not close to a main road nor somewhere up in the mountains. Then you can go and enjoy it and enjoy the experience without hassle. Don’t dine at roadside restaurants..
I had to look up and down for a place to park and in the end found one on the road. Didn’t get fined, everyone parks anywhere there. Next morning a modest breakfast. Had I know the final cost I could not have been more frugal.
To not push my luck and because it was so bussy I did not stay near Positano, moved on further South. I was for some reason pretty exhausted maybe because of the heat or the driving..
On the way I tried a charging station as shown above. It did not work properly. The owner of the gas station was yelling at me to stop trying and eventually ripped the cable from my hand. There was nothing to gain from protesting or going against it it seemed, he was probably right, but I like to find things out myself. I added a comment on my Chargemap app.
I decided to check out the Great Arch Cave (Grotta del Saraceno) next, and managed to find a parking next to the path leading to it (you could not see it form the beach), but I was too tired.
Out of Gas!
The next day the thing happened that was not supposed to happen ; I ran out of juice. Two factors played a role, first there where not a lot of DC charging locations near Diamante (where I was) and many AC locations did not exist. Second the AC charging mechanism of the Peugeot E-Expert had stopped working when it shut down in Porta Santo Stefano, and either the fuse was blown or something more serious was wrong. So as I was looking for a place to charge and found they where either occupied or didn’t exist, I ended up with zero km reserve..
Lesson learned : Only go to charging locations if there is a picture on Chargemap
I spend a night at a destination charging location, then a day trying to get the thing to charge but it just did not work. Contacting the lease company again they suggested to move the van to Diamante again (where you see the Senec car charging above) but by then I understood AC charging was just not working on the camper.
I had to find a DC charging spot. The one closest to my route was in Corso, so that was where I asked the guy to drive me. He wasn’t happy about it at all, “Too far, to difficult” because the road goes up into the hills. But in the end he agreed and when we where driving he was very happy to see all the green forests. We did blow a tire on the way guess the camper is unusually heavy because its electric.
I don’t know what part of this I payed for in the end, that is another story. The DC charger worked and I knew I just needed to find a route with plenty of them, and charge early from now on. The problem was not so much stress but I was a bit disappointed in the inability of anyone to solve the charging problem. It meant I could not travel the route I planned because Albania and Montenegro
To be continued..
Craco Matera Gravina
Unward and upwards!
San Nicola Varano