We’ve woken to glorious sunshine – at last! I let out a big sigh of relief as I settle into my chair on our balcony with a hastily made cup of tea. A beautiful view of Lake Garda greets me. I look up to the tops of the mountains opposite and into the blue sky beyond then down to the water where several ferries are transporting people and cars between the main towns dotted around the lakes edge.
We’re booked into a self-catering apartment for seven nights. Appartamenti Oasi is a collection of about twenty buildings and a pool located about thirty minutes walk from the water’s edge and the town of Limone. We went exploring yesterday and found the birth place and now mission of San Daniele Comboni which we passed as we followed the steep narrow roads down to the town centre in search of a supermarket and some WiFi.
This place is a real bargain; taking into consideration it’s now out of season I reckon 15€ (£10.60) per person per night is good business. Although, once again, we’ve been stitched up by the Booking.com sales blurb saying free internet access only to be informed of the reverse in the confirmation email.
A couple of hardy souls have attempted a dip in the pool. Both let out cries that suggested the water temperature was still fresh enough to take their breathe’s away – Carole is keen to go for a swim later.
Later we go for a stroll. On our return we’re greeted with the cry, ‘Hey! English’, from the apartment manager. Giovanni is not his real name, just the one they gave him when he arrived from Kosovo twenty years ago. His passion is for Liverpool FC and he lists various past stars, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish… I guess we’re of a similar age as he mentions players from my own younger years.
He invites us into the reception for a glass of grappa that is like schnapps and best drunk quickly. Carole struggles to finish hers so he suggests we return tomorrow for some limoncino – which we do.
We thought there was a church at Dalco. If there is we couldn’t find it. We’d set off at about midday knowing we had a steep climb ahead of us to the top of the mountain that out apartment sat at the bottom of. Several hours later we eventually scrambled to the top and into the woods beyond and began the unsuccessful search for the church a young Comboni had visited as a child. Our reward for such a physical and mental test was not to be spiritual enlightenment but the stunning views of the lake and towns below.
I had a haircut today for 16€ (£11.31) – pretty good too! There’s so much choice in Italy. Numerous shapes of pasta, countless types of bread, unlimited ice cream flavours. I’ve decided that, in future, I’ll buy all of my shoes in Italy as the range is far greater than you get at Shoe Express.
We stay for twelve nights instead of the originally planned seven.