Winter Motorhome Trip To Italy travel blog


Today disaster really did strike!! Me & Ethel ( our SatNav ) had a real falling out, she's gone off in a huff & is refusing to speak to me.

It was a lovely sunny start to the day. Viv went off to Mass at the pretty little church at the top of the hill just up from the site. As it quite often happens we were the only ones staying on this site last night so it was very quiet, apart from the church bells ringing out from various churches around the town. Not surprising I suppose as it is Sunday & the first of February.

While Viv was away at church I was trying to set Ethel up with the route to our next stop but she flat out refused to cooperate & eventually died altogether & shut down. She's done this before but this time she refused all coaxing to wake up. Sometimes before when she does this she will wake up & play ball again after a while so we set off using old fashioned maps & signposts along the way. It's amazing how much we had come to rely on Ethel, not just for directions but also she would tell us our speed & what the speed limits are as well as trip time, distance to go & arrival time etc.

She did wake up once as we blundered around unfamiliar roads but then died again almost immediately. This really was looking grim as she also had all the various camp sites & stops stored in her memory so it was easy just to tell her which site we wanted & she would route us there. We do have a set of various camp site books so we could still find them but not so easily. We are some 1,200 miles away from Dunkirk with several countries to pass through on the way so the only real option was to try & buy another SatNav as soon as we could.

We stopped at one shopping complex near Bari down on the coast but nobody selling SatNavs. It didn't look very promising at all especially as it was a Sunday. Then about 10 miles down the road I spotted another Commercial Centre & pulled off to have a look see there. Well we found A Euronics store which sold everything electrical & it was open. They had some TomTom & Garmin SatNavs so I bought a fairly basic model just to help get us home & get Ethel seen to.

Biggest worry was whether it would speak Italian only but what a relief when I fired it up back in the car park to be asked what language I wanted. Actually it was very easy & straightforward to set it up, put in the co-ordinates of our next site, from our camp site books, & get under way again. Gertrude the Garmin, as she is now known, or Gertie for short, did us proud. She's not as big & flashy as Ethel & doesn't have all the bells & whistles but once we got used to her display she should do nicely, we hope.

We drove up along the coast past Bari, didn't fancy struggling with another big city. There didn't seem to be much of interest there for us. There are a couple of places on the Gargano Peninsular that look interesting so we headed for the seaside town of Manfredonia & stopped at a beachside site there. We passed a whole load of saltwater ponds near to Manfredonia & spotted a whole load of flamingos wading around in one of them.

After lunch we had a Sunday afternoon stroll along the deserted beach picking up shells. The site is remote from the town so nowhere to go in the evening, another night of watching some of our recorded TV series.

Mileage today - 120

Total Mileage to date - 3,416

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