Thursday, 15 October 2015

Lido Solpi - dishevelled perfection.

Monday, 12 October

It's our second day here, I am really enjoying the break from driving. Where we are staying is as close as you are likely to find as an example of the perfect simple campsite. It's located a few kilometres south of Manfredonia, a small port at the southern edge of the the Gargagno peninsula.

So, why is it perfect? Firstly its size, it's big enough to support a small shop and restaurant but has not grown to the point of being a 'holiday park.' It has remained a family run concern, well maintained but not overdeveloped. Indeed, it could be regarded as old fashioned, it has no pool. the children's play area looks positively hazardous, the washing machines are somewhat antique, rusting contraptions which on the spin cycle sound like chain saws. If you are a man, then this enthusiasm for the venerable extends to the sanitary facilities. There are toilets that you can sit on, but only one per block, even in the so called 'new block' most are more, ahem!, 'traditional' evoking happy memories of 1970s camping municipals. But what the hell, if you are fussy then you can always use the van's onboard facilities, or just hunker down!

Then there's the location. It's lovely, rather than spectacular, set down a track in a eucalyptus wood next to a gently shelving beach is soft crumbly sand. From here there is a view of he small port of Manfredonia, overshadowed by the dark promontory of the Gargagno  peninsula.

Evening over the Gargagno, complete with the Manfrodonia oil terminal jetty
We have been lucky with the weather, two perfectly sunny days, clear blue, a light breeze, with temperatures reaching around 21 degrees in he afternoon. We have just lazed about, reading and blogging, wandering down to the beach, chatting to the German couple next door, back to the beach again ... I would have jumped into the sea. Even though the storms of a few days ago had made it chilly, but I'm still recovering from a tummy bug that has accompanied from England, and leaping into the cold Adriatic is probably not the best recovery plan.

So, I think of all the camp sites we have stayed on over the past two years of travelling, Lido Solpi has been my favourite so far. I love its relaxed, outdoorsy ambience. Because it offers a simple rather than luxurious experience, then the people who use it, by definition, are seeking simplicity. It is a far cry from the big Spanish sites we used last year. Those were full of sun-seeking wrinklies there for the duration. I guess if you've shelled out on a swanky motorhome the price of a small house, then you are going to want to park it somewhere equally swanky. We found the somewhat competitive pitch decoration, the division of the sites into national enclaves with rows of flag flying vans, the all day drinking parties and the organised entertainment schedule utterly ridiculous. Not our style at all.

Waking to morning light among the eucalyptus trees....
We are moving on today. I got up early to watch the sunrise, but not early enough, I missed it by about ten minutes. Still it was beautiful, very peaceful sharing the morning light on the long golden beach with one other camera touting camper, and a beach fisherman who had trundled his gear down to the shore in an ancient wheelbarrow and now was wading, waist-high, into the ice-blue sea to cast his net. I wonder if there is a word for people who love the dawn? If there is, then I don't know it. I will just have to make one up...Apollophiles, Auroraists, Phoebians....

morning mist
net fishing from the beach, at first light.

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