Approaching Lido di Rossello in search of a wild camp spot, our initial impressions weren't promising. After passing through the built up streets of the quiet resort, we came to a dead end where a couple of cars were parked in front of the concrete wall separating the road from the beach. There had been road signs pointing towards a campsite and there was grafitti on the adjacent wall reading 'Camping' with a number to call. However, the tall iron gates into what could have been a site, were closed and chained up.
We stopped to assess our options and after a minute, a short, grey haired man whose skin was as brown and thick as leather approached the van asking if we wanted to look? He proceeded to open the gates and lead us past a small hotel in the late stages of being built, to a seafront haven of gravel and grass. The area was cut into the soft cliff, bordered by flowers and low bushes with steps leading down to the sandy beach. While a paraglider played in the updrafts behind us, the man, whose name was Giuseppe, showed us around with just pride. A small lighthouse was perched precariously on the cliff above and he said that at night we could see its beam shining through the darkness. He pointed out the beautiful rocky cove to the right, where his small fishing boat and one other were moored, before directing our attentions to a stunning white cliff projecting into the sea a few kilometers to the left. Its striations stepped back as it rose and acted as natural pavements along which people were walking.
Giuseppe took us via the basic facilities, down the steps on to the fine sand, but we had already fallen in love with the place and decided to stay at €10 a night. The late day sun was warm and Vicky paddled in the sea with Poppy while Will swam. We sat out on the sand for a while, much to the bewilderment of the locals, before returning to our 'room with a view'. From the van we watched the lively Mediterranean waters and noticed a banding of colour as they stretched to the uninterrupted horizon. It was almost like a rainbow, changing through different shades of green, to blue, to a thin strip of violet at its farthest point.
We stayed 3 nights and each day Giuseppe came and checked that everything was going ok, despite not having a word of English. Will went snorkeling in the cove but waves whipped up the sand so much that he couldn't see his hand in front of his face.
We took a picnic and tried to walk to the far chalk cliffs but rockfalls blocked our way, so we found a patch protected from the wind and ate our lunch there on the deserted beach.
Unfortunately Vicky became badly ill again and this time Will wasn't feeling great either. We suspected it may have been something in the water we picked up at Marina di Ragusa and Caltanissetta, where both taps had been reduced to a dribble. It was impossible to know but when we felt able, we drained the water tank, wiped it round with vinegar and flushed it through with water from the site.
On our last full day, a storm blew with gale force winds. The tall cliffs behind us confused the winds and it was fascinating to watch them blowing in several different directions on the water simultaneously. All day long the wind battled with the waves, ripping their breaking crests backwards and whipping the spray several meters into the air.Read more