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Pizzo, Calabria - 17 October 2011


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A Bad Travel Day

Today was the first completely unpleasant day of the trip. After leaving our lovely sasso with the best wishes of its owner and his lovely daughter, we couldn't find the right road (but made the wrong one work for us), missed the one sign right at the junction (because three huge overloaded trucks were between us and the sign) and drove a few kilometers toward Salerno before we could get ourselves pointed the way we wanted to go, toward Reggio.

We had read in Rough Guide about some lovely views in a little town beside a lake whose name I have forgotten in the National Park whose name I have forgotten just a few kilometers off the main road. Forty-plus twisty mountainous kilometers above Cosenza we dragged into a nasty little hamlet in the middle of a dirty forest beside a drained reservoir, and stopped, without much hope, for lunch. Our expectations were exceeded. Lunch was vile, and the waiter deliberately misunderstood me when I asked for UNO and brought DUE of everything. I should have freaked then, but I was trying to stay mellow (knowing that I had forty-plus twisty mountainous kilometers to get back to what passes in these parts for civilization. That will be $60 please. (If you get vthe impression I am disappointed in Catania, you're right. If Sicily is anything like this, we'll be home real soon.)


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Back down the unnecessarily twisty mountain through the dry and ugly forest -- um, guys, a National Park means there's SOMEthing to look at -- we noticed several signs offering a five star hotel in an upcoming village. We found it (miraculous) and stopped; their wifi wasn't working and the minimum wagester behind the desk had no idea, and there was no one else in the "hotel." 

A couple of hours and a few more miscues later, we found another open hotel -- hotels in these parts are apparently open for July and August -- only four stars, but with working wifi in the lobby and an English-speaking desk clerk. So we've gone to ground for the night. I may not leave these words up for long, as I try really hard not to be negative about traveling ...but the lesson taken away from Altamura -- this part of Italy really doesn't care for visitors -- seems to be even truer here. Too sad.

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I took one picture today. Out our hotel window at sunset you can sorta see Stromboli, an active volcano on an island off the coast. Whoop.

 

Tomorrow will be (and was) a better day...

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