France/Italy Part 4: Lake Orta- Lake Maggiore- Lake Garda

Bluebell the motorhome is parked up here overlooking the lovely Lake Garda! It’s been a hot day again tots, nearly 37 degrees on one pharmacy temperature sign that we passed! Yesterday, we begrudgingly left Lake Orta for Lake Maggiore, just down the road. We nipped into the supermarket on route to stock up on supplies, everything here is more expensive than France, but looks delicious! We carried on to the sosta at Cannobio, which we knew was going to be our first night of paid parking, but had been recommended to us as a place to visit. As luck would have it, we ended up not having to pay as the machine was broken! Result!! We parked up between two Italian vans, and promptly got told off in loud and fast italian! We still aren’t exactly sure what we did, it was definitely a space, however we think the gist was that they were friends and wanted the free space to be their communal area! Well, luck wasn’t on their side, as they’d inadvertently picked on the wrong Brit, my northern stubbornness wasn’t going to let them intimidate us, so I said in my best italian that we were only there for the one night and there was nowhere else to park- if id have known the Italian for “so there” i would have no doubt dropped it in- a mixture of hormonalness, and fed up ness of being bipped during our journeys made me grouchy!!

We set off to explore the town, which is pretty pastel coloured fronts, a huge promenade and lovely restaurants and bars overlooking the lake. It’s much bigger than Orta, but equally as charming. We picked up a leaflet for a cycle trail and set back to pick up the bikes. It was a great trail, took us into the mountains and back down to the town. We stopped at the beach for a cheeky dip in the lake to cool off, then set back to the sosta. I should have known, Italians are clearly a match in the stubborn department as the northern me, and they had promptly set out all their gear right outside our door. It was so spread out we couldn’t even get to the back of our van with the bikes!!! We’d noticed that a space had come up down the pretty end of the area, however I was reluctant to move, I wanted to remain stubborn!! In the end, we did, and we were rewarded with a fantastic campsite size pitch, in its own private glade, and a view of the river and mountains! We enjoyed the evening chilling with some local wine and watched the sun go down. It was wonderful.

This morning we decoded to give Como a miss, and therefore set off towards Garda. It was a very easy journey, although 3 hours, it was mainly motorway. The tolls here are so cheap compared to France! Our 120 mile journey on the motorway cost no more than €10, in France I reckon it would have been nearer €40.

We’ve pitched up on a massive sosta next to the lake on the outskirts of Sirmione. We cycled into the town this afternoon and had a wander and some famous ice cream- I had apple and Keith had raspberry, it was gorgeous! The sosta costs €18 with services, including free wifi. It’s landscaped like a campsite and as that feel to it, but we are happy enough to pay for it, we know we are safe, and we have just watched the most amazing sunset from our window. Besides, an actual campsite here would be double.

Tomorrow we are moving on to Verona to reinact Romeo and Juliet and have a wander!!

Until next time,

Lx

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