“I think we might be lost Henry”
He denied it. Ever since making an executive decision to turn down the hire car company’s offer of a sat nav we hadn’t been lost once… Apparently.
“Where are we then dearest?”
I laughed and he laughed and we stared at the paper map together.
And I was actually rather pleased we were lost. How dull would it have been if we had jumped in the car at Bari airport, typed in the name of the hotel and followed an arrow through Puglia.
Then we wouldn’t have been able to marvel at the spectacular unhelpfulness of the signs in this part of the world. We wouldn’t have puzzled over which turn to take when both directions apparently go to the same place. And certainly we wouldn’t have noticed a sign telling us our destination was 2km away and then driven past one five minutes later informing us we were now 3km away.
The places we’ve stumbled across by accident while here proved to be the most interesting to such an extent we started trying to get lost deliberately. At one point we put the map away and just used the sun to give us a vague idea that we were going in the right direction. And this turned out to be the most fortunate of all our decisions as it led us to a little town called Melissano. There’s something about walking through a town that has (almost) the same name as you that makes it a touch more exciting. Naturally I bought everything I could find with Melissano written on it. Including all the postcards I’ve sent home. If you haven’t received yours yet mum sorry for ruining the surprise!
Another interesting find was a town called Diso, deep in the heel of Italy where a huge party had erupted for no particular reason. It was there I was asked to dance by a little old Italian man who stepped in when Henry failed to do his duty. I’ve given up trying to make him dance now, he will forever remain 99% perfect. The Italian spent 10 minutes showing me the moves required without much success and then chatted to me for 10 minutes as I tried to keep up before realising that I hadn’t understood a word. When he spotted the blank look on my face he just laughed and span me around a few more times before delivering me back to Henry.
We finally settled into Relais Histó San Pietro sul Mar Piccolo in the charming coastal town of Taranto. Luckily we did manage to find this hidden beauty and didn’t end up roaming the coast line arguing again. And boy am I glad we did!
The stories I have about this stunning part of Italy are all with me because of Henry’s decision not to pay the 10 euros a day for the sat nav. And looking back on it I think that I’d pay 10 euros a day not to have one.
So next time you fly-drive just say no to technology, point your car in roughly the right direction and see what happens. I guarantee you’ll have a far more exciting trip.