We could never hope to have the dedication to wine that our French camping neighbours at the campsite near Barola have. They were out all yesterday, only returning briefly for a freshen up, before leaving again for the evening; and this morning they left the campsite before 09.00, after moving the nine cases of wine from their car boot into their tent. In comparison, we are not even trying, buying just two bottles of local wine at the Cantina Comunale in La Morra.
We have travelled through a number of different wine regions since leaving Zeebrugge, including the Alsace region of France, Tuscany, where we bough Chianti and some excellent Montalicino and we are now in Barola in Piemonte, an area whose agriculture is dedicated to two crops, vines and hazelnuts (the latter we can only assume is to keep Italy in Nutella).
Camping Sole Langhe will rate as one of our favourite campsites; it is small, well maintained and friendly with clean facilities. Having purchased a map in a well stocked book shop in Alba, we were ready to explore and set off, some time after our French neighbours, on a day of walking. Striding out among the vines and hazel bushes is very agreeable; occasionally we would greet someone working, but generally we had the footpaths to ourselves. Our route finding was going very well until we found ourselves on a rarely used track heading down to the river; we persevered through the bushes and brambles, wishing we had taken the long trousers option. Carol’s legs were soon scratched and bleeding and then the track, such as it was, ended at a wall of trees and undergrowth. As we retreated back up the hill, we discussed the Italian map’s caveat that it accepted no responsibility for its accuracy.