Tuesday 1st April

Meribel, France - Santa Margherita, Italy

Started up Landy in morning to more billows of smoke which followed us down to the race piste where we said bye to Nick’s family. Smoke cleared as we headed down hill and through the Alps to the Italian border. Headed through Italian border at Tunnel du Frejus with no problems.

Alps disappeared in rear view mirrors and as temperatures rose to 28ºc the shorts made an appearance. Passed Turin and down to Genoa where we caught sight of the Mediterranean Sea. Also hit rush hour traffic for some wacky races through tunnels and over bridges. Got off motorway and drove down coast road to Portofino to check out the glamour and try and find an open camp site. Ended up in the 1* Hotel Annabella which was fine and headed out for a cheap pizza and beer.

1520 miles

Leaving Alps
Italy border
Hitting the Med
Blue seas

Wednesday 2nd April

Santa Margherita - Lago di Bolsena

Swift departure of Hotel Annabella and down coast highway before breakfast on outskirts of Pisa. Decided to bypass photo opportunity in front of leaning tower. Headed across to Firenze to take in heart of Tuscany but missed Sienna turnoff. Eventually found ourselves in Gladiator country heading down Via Cassia.

Amazing scenery provided some good photos and video footage. Arrived by Lago di Bolsena to a great campsite (Marios Camping) right on the waters edge. Had prime spot as campsite empty and Mario happy to have our business. Set up camp and emptied Landy to have proper sift of kit. Dined on first camp meal of soup followed by pesto gnocchi with bacon and courgette. Morale high, especially after taking in a beer at Chez Mario with football on.

1826 miles


Thursday 3rd April

Lago di Bolsena - Praia a Mare

Woke up after terrible sleep due to the cold. Having thoughts about choice of kit. However, opening tent to an amazing sunrise over the lake more than made up for it. Left Mario with the €16.50 camping fee after packing up and filling up with water and got ½ hour along road when Andy realised he had left his jacket with phone and leatherman in the toilet at the campsite. Headed back to ridicule!

Cruised down Via Cassia until we hit Rome which was as spectacular as expected despite the manic traffic. Took in the sights and sounds of Vatican and Coliseum before getting out of dodge as clutch was not loving the driving conditions. Long drive down highway to Naples where we had a slight navigation issue. Decided to go for as long as possible to eat up miles. Turned off mountain highway and definitely too cold to camp with snow in the surrounding hills. Turned down to coast to small beach town for cheap hotel. Headed out into deserted streets for food and found tapas bar serving Tennants Super. Couldn’t resist a pint which went down a treat.

2224 miles

Mario Camping
Cold morning view

Friday 4th April

Praia a Mare – Palermo, Sicily

Left hotel early after breakfast to drive down coast route. Fairly run down resort towns along road waiting for summer season to begin. Got bored so turned off coast route onto autostrade to eat up the miles. Arrived at south tip of Italy at 1300 (2381 miles) to catch one hour ferry crossing from Reggio di Calabria to Messina in Sicily. Only 23 euro and funny watching lax ferry staff.

Raining as we land at Sicily and not too warm. Battery light came on which gave cause for concern but quick call to Mike Aitken put our minds at rest...for now!

2521 miles

Sicily Ferry
Sicily Ferry
The the sea
Sicily from Italy

Saturday 5th April

Palermo – Tunis Ferry

Had lie in as no rush today and headed down for breakfast in posh hotel before checking mail and updating site. Checked out to find out real cost of hotel was €40 more than expected. Beer fine for Nick hearing 130 instead of 170. You Tube still not accepting the video which increased frustration. Headed out for lunch after fully utilising the hotel facilities that we had paid for. Realised we needed more €50 notes for Libya fixer so started wandering around shops to upgrade our small change. Many strange looks and several people taking offense for some reason.

Took a small drive round Palermo to find its better side without success so headed to ferry terminal early. Underwent first customs issues with them being unable to find chassis number which was buried under wax oil and then insisting we needed green card for Tunisia (which we actually didn’t). ‘Nevermind’ was his favourite phrase and we liked that attitude. Met 2 Swiss bikers Lutz and Andy who were heading across N. Africa then back up Jordan and Syria. Had dinner on ferry with them once we eventually boarded 3 hours later but surprised by decent ensuite cabin.

2554 miles


Click here to watch the video


















South Africa