… and the snows came, but the bus didn’t.

Snowed in, but that didn’t stop us getting up at dawn and trekking out to the bus stop – about a kilometre away (feels like 4km in a blizzard). It was -2C according to the thermometer that was mocking us from the bus stop sign as we fought, like Scott of the Antarctic, through driving snow. And that snow stings your cheeks. We over-allowed time to get to the bus stop and found ourselves plonked at a windswept intersection, with frozen everythings and 40 minutes to wait.

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The bus stop for the beach

Fortunately, the bus company provides what we know from previous trips, is called a sala interna – a waiting room. Stinky, dirty, but warm. So we waited… and waited …and waited. Waited until an hour after the bus was due (well, it could have been late in this appalling weather) and I jumped onto Facebook messenger where I’d had a discussion with the bus company to ask if the busses were running on time and told them I wanted to go to Avellino in the morning. They answered that it was a holiday and the busses were running on time, but there was only one bus at 5pm this evening. We were disheartened (understatement), especially at the thought of traipsing back up to the house for an indoorsy day – best not to sightsee at (now) -4C.

We busied ourselves with devising a plan B. There is growing chance that any escape from Calitri in time to make our flight on Wednesday morning – the weather is experiencing an extraordinary event across the south of Italy – is problematic. Plan B at this stage is to drive out on Sunday, carefully.

The rest of the day was cooking and trying to figure out which rubbish to put where and when. There’s the plastics, which need to be taken to the big bin in the piazza; the cardboards and paper to another big bin in the piazza; the third big bin in the piazza is for the glass and aluminium. The ‘umido’ (biological kitchen scraps) gets collected from the little square near us on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and; the rest of the rubbish gets collected from the little square Tuesday and Saturday. All little square collections are before 8am. It takes some getting used for two wastrels from Brisbane, where the council are more likely to collect the recycling in the normal garbage truck. We did our best – you gotta play the game.

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Pip – Snow

Just as we were cooking dinner, came a knock at the door – unusual to say the least (having despatched those 7th Day Adventists the other day) – and it was Barbara, our neighbour with an unrefusable offer of freshly made apple pie after dinner. Barbara and John we had met at the little bar on the Piazza the other day and their front door is barely 3m from ours – that’s 3m uphill and icy. If you’d seen us trying to traverse those 3m on all fours without the aid of ropes and not in our full winter gear (it’s only 3m after all), you might have recalled a scene from a movie where people were trying to cross a 200m chasm by wooden plank bridge.

Barbara and John are former Coloradans, now resident in Calitri (having featured in an episode of Househunters International), and have a beautiful, and quite large house above the one we’re staying in. We ate apple pie and drank coffee and calmed their toothless chihuahua, Bubba and chatted about life in Italy. This was a welcome and most pleasant bright spot in an otherwise snowed in day.

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