Our Aussie friends moved on this morning. There was a flurry of activity prior to their departure as they checked to ensure everything was packed away and in its place, which is a big deal when the vehicles in question are these great motor homes they had. The whole thing was not without last-minute drama either as Gordon found to his consternation that his van’s battery was dead flat and the beast would not start. Jump leads would be required.

Of course none of us had any, nor did anyone else on site including the owners, so he was faced with finding a set somewhere in Pompeii. I jumped to the rescue and offered to drive him around and Gordon visibly brightened up at the offer. Off we drove towards the one shop they had actually been inside, the Chinese Emporium, only about a kilometre down the campsite road. Clark explained they had gone in just to have a look but had come out much later, laden with all sorts of bits and pieces, mainly electronic. This was hopeful.

The moment we entered the shop I was taken back to my childhood and the Rupert books I so loved. The assistants were 3 Chinese girls and 1 man, all four dressed oriental-style and not one of them over 5ft 3in. Their conversation seemed to be part Chinese part Italian which was a bit weird but they also greeted us in English. Gordon asked if they had jump leads but I guess they simply hadn’t met too many Aussies before because they stared at each other and went back to sprinters’ Chinese. I did not jump in to help at this point as my brain was not coping well with how to explain jump leads in Italian.

Naturally we did the man thing and just went raking about on the shelves, finding an unbelievable amount of little treasures and all those little things you wished you’d had earlier but didn’t need just now. Suddenly from behind a large set of shelves the stereotype Aussie shout of joy “You little Beautie!” announced that Gordon had found what he was looking for, and indeed he emerged triumphant a second later clutching his prize packet of jump leads. He was beaming with delight. We paid for them (9 bucks!) and I left them with a cheery “Grazie bene!.” Back in the car Gordon marvelled at my linguistic prowess, adding that he knew the Grazie but not the bene, so asked for an explanation. I blushed when he said it must be great to be able to speak the lingo!

Half an hour later and after multiple hugs and noting of e-mail addresses etc. the two motor homes drove off up the ramp and out on to the deadly streets of Italy. I hope they survive!

The rest of the day was a bit of a non-event. I spent time on Facebook as it was Fiona’s birthday and George and Ben’s are coming up fast, Mary tidied the place up a bit, I reset the satellite which had blown over in a gust of wind (we are now watching Hotbird 13 which gives us BBC World News and France 24 plus a whole selection of God channels!) and we went back to planning.

So, what have we planned? Well, on Saturday we are going to drive up to Monte Cassino, about an hour away, see the history of the abbey and all the WWII stuff, stay the night in a hotel and come back here on Sunday. Then on Monday we take the train to Sorrento, do a bus tour of the Amalfi coast before returning to Sorrento where we’ve booked into a hotel as a treat. On Tuesday we visit Sorrento itself (and maybe take the boat to Capri) and come back to Pompeii on the train. Then on Wednesday we move……… to Rome!

Just so you don’t feel so bad, we are officially broke! All the euros on our Travelex card have been used up so for the next five weeks (we come home 5 weeks today) it’s good old Bank of Scotland Debit card. Ouch!

All donations should be sent to George and Mary Burton, a caravan, Italy. Postcode GRa Zie.

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