When I peeked out of the window of the Magic Caravan this morning the trees and the road and the toilets were back. The fog had crept away to Fogland during the night and in its place there was a whole box of sunshine tipped out over the forest. I could see for miles, away over to the far mountains, but only because we were so high on the hillside. Between my eyes and the mountains the Divine Barber had brushed a million tons of heavenly shaving foam which covered the wide valley in between, hiding the dozens of small villages scattered down below. The panorama was absolutely beautiful.

As this was moving day we snapped into action, completing our given duties in between mouthfuls of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes or scrambled eggs (or in my case, both!). I paid our dues and we hitched up to leave. We were the last caravanners to go and for all we knew we would be the last there until next season. We could not imagine anyone wanting to spend any time during the winter up there at nearly 5000 feet above sea level where the weather varied between awful and scary. Bye bye Assisi and we’ll maybe come back……… in the summer!

The journey to Siena was a relatively short one of only 150 kilometres and one and a half hours but as we were moving to a place which sits at 1000 feet above sea level it was pretty much downhill all the way and at times I was tempted to save diesel and freewheel! No, I didn’t, honestly. The drive was incident-free and we found the new campsite with little difficulty. Once again we had moved from one campsite to another without a drop of rain although it would make up for it later.

Our new facilities turned out to be very good standard. The pitch is hard-standing as opposed to the grass we have been on for the last while, the toilets and showers are first-rate and the location is quite near the town itself, so getting in to Siena shouldn’t be a problem. Electricity and water supply was quickly established so a brew was soon in preparation.

As usual something weird happened. I had decided to set up the satellite as we had a clear view south so I took the dish and the other bits out of the caravan where they stay when we are travelling. I connected the wires without setting up the dish direction or angle and went inside to tune into Astra 19 so that my wee green light would tell me when I was on the signal outside. Astonishingly, when I put the channel on, a programme came through loud and clear with a perfect picture. For a moment I couldn’t understand what was going on. I hadn’t pointed the satellite yet! How could I be getting a perfect signal?

The answer makes the mind boggle. Clearly, when I took the dish and its tripod stand out of the caravan and carried them around to the front and plonked them down willy-nilly before going back in to turn on the set, I had accidently set the dish down in the perfect position for receiving Astra 19’s signal. How crazy is that? When I think of the hours I spent in Pompeii and Manfredonia trying to get a signal in the first place and not succeeding I am left shaking my poor wee head in disbelief.

We watched a bit of German TV before and after tea then chatted away about what the future might hold for us, assuming there is a future after 21 December, given the Mayan calendar. It would be rotten if the world came to an end while we were on our way home. We wouldn’t have anywhere to land!

I wrote some more of Socrates tonight and will post it soon. He says he’s sending his Xmas cards by snail-mail!

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