[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d10: The Salerno Province (by Philipp Gesang, location: A Pompeii Campsite)

Morning Hardships

The crappy B&B in Palinuro actually had the guts to charge me the visitor's tax in the morning which wasn't mentioned at all in the booking conditions. If I hadn't bumped into anyone on my way out I'd have put the keys on the reception desk and left, thinking everything was already paid for. I mean that's why you pay ahead of time, right, so there's nothing to accidentally forget. Leave it to the hospitality industry to find a way to subvert rational thought like that.

The Cilento coast further up north is as rocky as the Maratea coast but not nearly as convenient to travel along. Roads are old and crumbling, and they follow the rough terrain uncompromisingly: little to no landscaping has been carried out during their construction so 15 % steep slopes are commonplace. Near Ascea at a particularly bad section the pylons of an enormous unfinished road bridge can be seen, giving the impression that the road authority just gave up on that nasty bunch of rocks.

The Salerno Beach

In contrast the lead-up to Salerno consists of a 50 km beach corridor along which the arrow straight road continues through the flat. A slight breeze was blowing from the northwest, as welcome for the cool air as it was annoying because of the headwind. Needless to say I spent most of that part hunched over the tri-bars. The road is lined on the coastal side with uncountable campgrounds, hotels and beach restaurants, all looking fairly empty, awaiting the post-Covid tourist flood.

I had no sightseeing planned in Salerno as the town itself with its millenia of history warrants at least a day long visit, not something I could fit in my schedule. So I passed right through and took on the final climb of today at which point traffic got rather viscous. Commute hour had arrived. Starting from Salerno it is pretty much a contiguous chain of suburbs until Napoli so until I reached Pompei, today's destination, I had no respite in the busy flow of cars.

Again the absence of my Garmin resulted in numerous bad turns taken. The region seems to be particularly unforgiving for mistakes like that as backtracking or alternate routes are often impossible due to the labyrinthian one-way traffic routing. I'm already regretting two days in advance my plan of continuing through Napoli. When I finally arrived at Pompeii I was six kilometers over the projected distance -- most of it attributable to navigation errors. A bummer that from now on I won't have stats on altitude gain that were provided by the Garmin.

I picked one of the three (!) campgrounds located right next to the excavated site mainly because it advertised free wifi. After two B&Bs in a row without internet that is a welcome change. The site is really pleasant too with a bunch of cats strolling around and exotic birds chatting in a cage, a significant improvement over the last one which resembled a junkyard. And that for a fair price too.

Equipment Woes, pt. 3

The good news is that my repair session yesterday was successful and my mattress retains air again. That will save me the trouble of heading into Napoli center to buy a replacement. Let's hope the patches are robust enough to last the remainder of the trip.

The bad news is that yesterday my Garmin stopped charging. Still seems to function normally otherwise, it just won't go into charging mode when plugged in. That leaves me without a means of accessing my sensors: heart rate, cadence and velocity. What is worse, from now on I will have to rely on my phone and OSMAnd for navigation. That is a severe downgrade from the Garmin with its permanently active screen that is readable in daylight even without the backlight on. With the phone that is not possible as I can't keep the display powered all day even when going all out in the flat. The difference was noticable already today due to the number of wrong turns that I took and only noticed after I checked with OSMand. I'll probably have to unlock the lock screen to be able to access it more efficiently, not a great prospect security wise.


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