‘Turn left here.’
I take a look at the road Dom’s pointing at.
‘Are you sure?’ I ask him. The road doesn’t look very inviting, but he’s sure it’s the correct one, so I turn left. We’ve been on the road for nearly 16 hours and all I want is to find a place to sleep as soon as possible. My car is protesting quite heavily and threatens to stall a few times as it fights to climb the incredibly steep and narrow road, at the end of which is the most picturesque agriturismo I have ever seen.
Earlier in the day we’ve taken a detour over the St Gotthard pass to avoid the long traffic jam at the tunnel. At the top of the pass we discussed our plans for the day and decided that if we wanted to make it to the Italian coast on the first day of our trip, we’d have to find a hotel instead of a campsite. So here we are. Unfortunately the challenging trip up the mountain road has been in vain. The agriturismo is fully booked.
After an equally challenging trip back down, we try another hotel, which turns out to be so busy I can’t even park the car. Dom attempts to ring another hotel, but after repeating “Pronto?” four or five times without understanding our replies, they hang up on us. A quick check online doesn’t leave us with many options, so we decide to revert to our initial plan. Let’s just find a campsite before the sun sets. Thankfully, the first one we try has plenty of free spots. It’s a small campsite right next to the motorway, but it’s 9 o’clock and we’re losing the light, so it’ll do for now.