For the past dozen posts I have been forgetting to give an honourable mention to my son Greg who came up with the cleverest name for the caravan when he suggested Gary, a subtle combination of George and Mary. We both liked this one but felt that the caravan didn’t have a male kind of a personality so had to have a female or neutral name. But well done anyway, Greg.

Our last full day in Rome was intended to be a quick visit to an ossiary (a church decorated with human bones!), a walk round another park and a stroll down to the Trevi Fountain to throw in a coin or two (or three). Typically we just never got going once we’d sat down to book our tickets for Australia and e-mailed the new campsites we’re heading for tomorrow. Finally taking the big decision and buying returns from Barcelona to Melbourne on Emirates was a huge thrill for us. Mary is particularly happy because she now knows she will be seeing Scott in late February after my birthday.

Don’t you just hate it when the weather can’t make its mind up? Today was sunny then rainy then windy then rainy then sunny again and finally very rainy. All our friends who went into Rome reported having to dodge showers all day: I bet the churches were packed! The two German couples left this morning, one heading north and the other making for the campsite we left in Pompeii, Spartacus. Don’t worry, we gave them some clear advice about staying safe in that area. Interesting that the English couple with the wee girl who arrived yesterday said they had taken one look at Naples and driven straight back out never to return. So it’s not just us who have failed to be impressed.

Mary has been feeling awfully sorry for the stray cats which live around us because they just huddle under a bush when the heavy rain arrives. Their choice I think. It’s a bit strange to see so many cats wandering about the place in Italy but they don’t really bother you and I’m glad they’re cats and not dogs as I might feel uncomfortable then. There were stray dogs in the ruins of Pompeii just lying about in the shade sleeping, but we Brits find that a bit unusual and aren’t quite sure how to deal with them. The Italians seem to pretty much ignore them or chase them away if they get too close.

I gave in today and paid for one suitcase to bring back to Scotland on our Easyjet flight as we began to feel that hand luggage just wouldn’t take the personal items of clothing etc. we need to bring. It wasn’t horrendously expensive so we feel quite happy and a bit relieved too. I suspect we’ll have to rake around among the things we haven’t even taken out of the suitcase so far on our adventure because when we leave Rome tomorrow it’s north into the colder climes of Tuscany and Liguria. Thankfully we only need to be in Milan for the flight home as it’s already freezing there, given where it sits close to the Alps.

Well it’ll be Arrivaderci Roma tomorrow morning and with a bit of luck Benevenuti, Assisi sometime in the afternoon. We’ve chosen a site right in the famous town itself.

I just hope it’s open!