Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sassy Matera, Paestum, and a visit to Decathlon

Lonely Planet guided us inland and suggested visiting the World Heritage site of Matera to see its sassi – cave dwellings. The van was getting pretty sandy so we gave it a sweep and left the lido and the glares behind. Hooray!

Matera is cool. The landscape was completely different: slow-rolling golden hills interrupted by MASSIVE GORGES. The town is set upon two of them, and up until the 1950s half the population lived in caves carved into the rocky ravines. They got cleared out by the EU after some guy wrote a book which dissed them – you can Google that for yourself.

Our campsite was situated next to a solar farm, with a magnificent view beyond it. We had free wifi as long as we spoke to a charming but slightly crazy (possibly drunk) employee who did odd jobs around the place. We found a lush lake where we had lunch and chill time. Pete got the slackline out and I made friends with a manky golden lab.

We observed Paestum’s Greek ruins through the van windows and settled in Camping Ulisse, back on the coast. There was a bar, restaurant and entertainment for those who wanted it – apparently nobody. Pete got cranky because they kept playing Gangnam Style.

A big plus was that they sold mega croissants warm with Nutella which was particularly useful (and scrumptious) as we ran out of gas for the cooker. We went on a lengthy expedition to find a Decathlon and came back with the whole shop’s worth of gas canisters.

Safety first!


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