Where no man has been?
Sometimes one can feel like disappearing completely out there where no man has been before. Enjoy the silence and primitive life. We have gradually found out that it’s very difficult to do in Europe, but when we decided to drive offroad, we found (via an intensive search on Google Maps), a number of places along the river Po where the dream could almost come true.
Po is the longest river in Italy. It runs from the Cottian Alps in the west and ends in the Adriatic Sea in the east. The river is 682 km/ 424 miles long and is connected to Milan through a net of channels that Leonardo da Vinci was a part of designing. If you want to learn more about this amazing river, you can read here.
We stocked up on food, water, beer, and wine and made sure to empty the dirty water and fill the tank with freshwater. Then we headed down the river Po. In several places, we drove on very narrow roads up on the dikes and the locals looked as if they were on the verge of shaking their heads at us. Or maybe they were just not used to seeing a motorhome in their part of the world. Well, never mind, we were on a mission and no one could stop us.
Two blurry fish
The first stop turned out not to be quite and remote as we thought. We immediately met a couple of local anglers who, in very rapid Italian, told us about their catch. They were so proud of it, that we were pulled over to photograph the two fish. It really was a couple of beautiful fish, so their joy and pride were well-founded. Later in the evening, some young people took advantage of “our” remote place and made use of the peace to sit and smoke a few joints. By then we knew we had not come far enough yet.
Actually we often experience people park beside us to smoke a joint. We wonder if it’s because they’re drawn to the hippie culture? On that note, we have to point out, that we don’t do drugs, so it can’t be because we have that in common.
A zillion mosquitos
We arrived at our second stop the next day and now it began to look like something good. Not completely deserted, since a lot of fishermen each had their own small spot with boats along the banks of the river. It was super beautiful and quiet, but unfortunately, the crazy amount of mosquitoes determined that it was not where we were supposed to be either, so we drove on.
Do YOU know?
However, before we drove off, we managed to take a walk at a small avenue, leading to a kind of grove, where all the trees had names. At first, we thought it was the botanical names of the trees, but it dawned on us that they were names of humans. We never quite figured out what it was all about. On one tree was a series of years with names next to it and a headline that meant something like “They were known for” and it was as if the trees were each dedicated to someone. If anyone can solve the mystery for us, you are welcome to write in the comments field below.
3 time’s the charm
The third place was absolutely perfect. It was completely quiet and undisturbed and the view was formidable. So here we set up camp. That is, the table and chairs were unfolded and placed outside and we found a corner for our rarely used toilet tent.
It’s a tall tent and inside there is a stand with a toilet seat on it, intended for installation with a paper bag. You can probably figure out the rest. We learned very quickly that it should be tied to a tree though! Luckily there was no one in it when it collapsed in the light breeze.
The wrong steaks
When we stocked up, we bought some good looking beef steaks. Or at least we thought we did! But when you don’t really understand Italian, you can be wrong and after checking with Google Translate we found out that it wasn’t beef at all. But we agreed that horse steaks also tastes good because that was exactly what it was.
We also got to try our camping shower. What an ingenious invention! A simple pump with a battery that can bring us greater joy than most people will understand. When the temperatures are constantly at 30 degrees C and above, it’s amazing to be cooled down and rinsed off. The fact that we can also have a shower in the middle of God’s free nature, brings us that joy we love so much: The feeling of freedom.
Great for the soul
The best thing about being off-road was the silence and inner peace that occurs when you have absolutely nothing to achieve or decide on. Seeing the beautiful paintings nature makes when the sun rises and sets and following the sounds and routines of the animals is something everyone ought to try. We could now say that we were 100% relaxed for the first time in the 6 months we had been away,.
Back to reality
After a few days our stock, however, ran out and we had to move on. Still, without an actual plan, we ended up at the mouth of the river Po in Goro. Here we stayed in another small motorhome parking we had found at CamperContact. The site was at a small harbor and the area was incredibly cozy. Actually, it was just meant to be for a single night, but we ended up staying longer because we were so relaxed that we couldn’t get started again at all.
But we eventually ended up moving on anyway, because Rome was next stop.
PS: We never made it to Rome. We decided that we would one day visit the city by airplane since Rome is way too hectic for a motorhome.
– Text and photos: Eva // Adding, photos and photo editing: Malthe