Lake Garda to Natter See (Innsbruck for those less well travelled than us!)

150 miles for us today. The aim is to meet up with Jane and David who are re-joining us for the rest of the trip.

Kim took a final walk down to the lake and the view was less hazy

John was a man on a mission, we were packed up and out by just after 9. The aim was to drive along Lake Garda as far as we could before joining the motorway for the rest of the journey.

We stopped for a cuppa and a photo opportunity. JustGo run a competition for the best photograph which could win a free trip next year. John is hating the thought of another trip but is also a man who likes to win

How could we fail to win? Snow, mountains, Lake Garda, trees and a JustGo van!!

We headed for the motorway and were making good time when Kim’s phone gave us an option! We could take a route over the top of the Dolomites’, rather than around, and it would only take an extra 38 minutes. We checked it on Colin’s special motorhome satnav and a good old fashioned map. It was a ‘main road’, what could possibly go wrong?

As an aside, Ken and Jacky are en route to join us, woohoo!

We left the motorway at Bolzano, and headed up towards Pennes Pass. We were cutting a chunk off the journey and amazing views beckoned. We weren’t disappointed and more competition photos presented.

An hour after leaving the motorway, this was what we saw

The blooming Pass was closed! We like to think we missed a sign further down but we did drive past one in disbelief! We had snow chains so debated whether or not to give it a go but common sense prevailed and we could at least turn around!

It was painful, but we re-traced our steps back to exactly the same place we’d left the motorway. Two hours lost and now it was a race against time to get to the campsite before Reception closed at 5.

It was embarrassing, everyone else had started behind us and arrived before us. John hates to finish last.

The site is amazing

And we’re all safely back together. Cheers!

Venice to Lake Garda

We woke up to the fact that John and Ken are both mosquito magnets. It was a glorious sunny morning John was dressed in jeans, long sleeved shirt and a hat pulled down over his ears. Rather than being pleased when Kim found mozzie repellant in the site shop, all he could do was grumble that it cost more than a decent bottle of wine!

Ken and Jacky were towed away by their new friend Lucca, we callously headed up to Lake Garda with a fridge full of their food and beer.

It’s been a short journey, only 80 easy miles, in the hope they will join us here later. It does appear that Ken has settled nicely into the Fiat showroom.

We only had to turn round once on our journey to Lazise and all local cars and buildings remained intact!

Entry to Camping La Quercia was interesting. We were met at the barrier by a uniformed member of staff who radioed our arrival to Reception. At Reception we were put in a golf buggy and taken to choose our pitch before being allowed to register. The van was photographed, I’m not sure if Interpol are on our trail following Thursday’s accident..

The van has been tagged, as have we…

We’ve also been given a lovely set of recycling bags, sustainability is taken very seriously here.

We get to keep these lovely bags but have to return our wristbands on departure!

It’s been glorious here, the afternoon has been spent reading by the van. We did venture down to the beach but, without our partners in crime, weren’t inclined to explore very far. The views across Lake Garda are beautiful.

The campsite makes it very clear that strangers are not welcome, thank goodness we have been tagged.

Ken and Jacky didn’t make it, Fiat want to do more tests on their van before they’ll release it. Apparently all the local hotels are full so they are spending the night in it. We have their wine, beer and, most importantly, their mattress topper. We’d offer to drop it all back but we’ve opened a bottle of wine.

We have everything crossed that they’ll join us at Natter See tomorrow. Please can you cross your fingers and toes too?