Ferry to Italy

We drove to the Albanian / Greek border at Konispol and spent three quarters of an hour in a queue waiting to pass through Albanian security checks.  When it was eventually our turn, our passports were checked and then nothing else happened – we waited for a few minutes and no one seemed interested in us so we just drove off.  Two hundred yards on we came to the Greek border and our passports were checked again and we waved through without the van being checked at all.  We were asked if we had any cigarettes or alcohol, we said no and we were back in Europe!   

Torre dell’Orso, Lecce, Puglia

We only spent one day in Greece (we plan to return).  At midnight we boarded the ferry to Italy at Igoumenitsa, cost €340 with a cabin.  There were more than a hundred trucks lined up waiting for the ferry and it took almost two hours to load them all.  We arrived in Brindisi at 9 am the following morning and drove along the coast to Melendugno.   

 The campsite was 2k outside the town and was a bit of a disappointment.  Perhaps we were spoiled with the sites in Albania but, although we found ourselves on the beautiful Adriatic coastline, we were at a tourist resort where the majority of the shops and restaurants were closed until the season got started in June.  The main hotel was open and people were sunbathing and swimming on the beautiful beach but otherwise the place was a ghost town.  The few shops that were open sold no fresh produce – we wanted fruit, vegetables and maybe a lovely fresh fish – but there was nothing within biking distance but flip flops and sun cream and a few cafés  – but it was hard to tell whether they were open for business or not. 

  

The campsite was still in winter mode, quick enough to take our money (€25 a night in advance, as against the €16 we normally pay) and the facilities were poor.  The grounds were unkempt and the toilet block rustic, although clean enough.  There was no washing machine or hot water for clothes washing and wifi was only available at Reception.  Such a contrast to the facilities we enjoyed in Croatia and Albania.  We moved on as soon as we could.

  

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