A big shout out to Mariola

It’s been a big few days, but I have been wanting to get on and say how amazing Mariola has been.

After leaving the amazing Amalfi Coast, Mariola and I rented a car. There was no way I was driving, so Mariola stepped up and committed to driving us across the lower part of Italy.

She informed me that she had not driven a manual in 30 years, has NEVER driven on the other side of the road, and the gears were opposite to what she would be used to! And for those of you who know me well, the worst part was that I was going to be the navigator. That’s right, read a map and tell her where to go….

The roads are so narrow that there was nowhere to go when a car is coming in the opposite direction, the road rules are very dodgy and speed limits I think are a SUGGESTION only. We stuck to the speed limit and the cars behind us would either honk loudly or sit right on our tail. If they were entering from a side street, the tactic is to just pull out and hopefully the traffic will stop. If they don’t think you are driving well, they just make a new lane and move in front of you.

Needless to say, it was a very hairy few days of driving, however, we would not have got to experience Matera, Ostuni, Cisternino and Locorotondo if Mariola had not driven.

These little places were all amazing and we had so much fun.

We then went on to stay in a Palazzo in Giovinazzo. I struggled the first night as I felt it was a bit creepy and even contemplated whether it might be haunted, but the second night was much better.

We decided to take a train into Bari on the last day before we returned the car to look where we had to drop it off, and how far we then had to walk to the train station. that turned out to be a great idea because we then felt quite confident about dropping the car.

The worst part of our last day was trying to get the car out of the Palazzo. As Mariola mentioned in her blog she hit the thousand year old doors going in as it was really snug.

Mariola hopped in the car and with great trepidation I gave directions and we got the car out. Phew.

We used the gps to help guide us to Bari, and I knew Mariola had got the swing of driving as she honked the horn at a motorcyclists when the lights changed:)

We waved goodbye to the car quite happily and have agreed we don’t really want to do that again.

I have new found admiration for my friend for doing that driving for sure!

So that brings me up to yesterday(Wednesday) and we caught the train to Venice. As it was a 7 hour trip I took a travel calm tablet while we were at the rental car place, which proceeded to make me feel extremely wonky. By the time we walked to the train station I was not doing so well and nearly fell down the stairs carrying my bag!

Anyway, I got on the train and proceeded to sleep for almost the entire trip 🙂

We are now in Venice and Mariola will catch you up with some great shots from today.

I really love Venice.

 

2 thoughts on “A big shout out to Mariola

  1. Goodness Tanya you are both so brave! You will certainly have some stories to tell. I’m sure it was all worth it as you saw some amazing places. I hope you enjoy some stress free times now. Well done to you both.🤗

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