Ainslie's Travel Adventures

Ainslie Waldron

Veteran Home Exchanger | Travel Author | [hidden email]

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Aug 30th

The final Part of Home Exchange from Hell ESCAPE FROM THE STALAG

Revolta had said on Saturday, before she disappeared, that she would come on Monday afternoon, and help us with a car.

She did not come on Monday. 

She sent her cousin, who arrived on Monday evening (just as well we had not been sitting in all day, waiting all day for her to come).  Her cousin arrived, with a can of DOG FOOD for the dog.  What about us?????? No sign of Revolta, or any assistance with finding a car. 

Just as well we had been resourceful. This is what we had done in the meantime......................................

Everything was closed in the area on Sunday, however we walked about a mile and found a local restaurant, which was setting up for a wedding celebration.  We asked the owner if we could use his WiFi and thankfully he agreed so we sat outside in his garden for quite a few hours to get ourselves organized. After much internet surfing and exploring, and a few Skype phone calls, we organized car rental in Avellino until end of month.  We double-checked and they did NOT require and international driver’s license. We could pick that car up on Monday morning.

We also contacted the owner of our next home exchange in Rocca di Mezzo and asked her if we could come earlier than planned.  We dined later at that restaurant, before returning to spend another night in the house which we now referred to as the Stalag.

On Monday morning, we walked back to restaurant to call a taxi, but we had no luck as the restaurant gates were locked, and no-one seemed to be home..  When a restaurant worker arrived, he was lovely and drove us into the nearby village of Serino.  Once there, we bought bus tickets to Avellino to pick up the car.  As is common in Italy, there was a group of old men, sitting chatting, in the town square.  They knew we were strangers and tried to help us.  They showed us where the bus stop was, and found out the time of the bus for us.

Then Franco arrived. One of the old men introduced him to us.  He is 52, has spent 20 years in Scotland, and a native of Serino.  He wanted to befriend and help us.  Yesssssss.  OUR HERO.

He insisted on driving us to the industrial area of Avellino, and stayed with us while we pick up our rental car, to ensure we are not ripped off!  We would never have been able to find the car hire location without him. Such a great fellow.  He also insisted that he would take us to the airport in Naples on our last day in Italy, after going with us to Avellino and dropping off our rental car. He wanted to treat us to some good days sightseeing and eating, when we were around this district, and offered us a bed at his house.  What a lovely man.  Quite a Jack the lad, had two Scottish wives and now has two Scottish grandchildren.

We met him again on Tuesday, a public holiday, Republic Day. He bought us many beers (refused our offers of payment) and again said he will drive us to Naples.  What a lovely warm, friendly man. Definitely the hero of the hour!

We declined his offer of a bed, as we now had received an email reply from our next home exchange, informing us that is was OK to arrive early.  The home was a second home, and no-one was living in it.  What a relief. 

Once we had the rental car, we explored the area that day, driving to the Amalfi coast, visiting Positano opposite the Isle of Capri, and the amazing ruins of Pompeii, which had been buried under volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in Roman times.

We now had a car, a friend, and a house to go to.  So, everything did work out well in the end. 

We emailed Revolta, to tell her that we would be leaving her home exchange house, the next day. She stormed up to the house all guns blazing, late in the evening and told us to LEAVE immediately and go to a local hotel right away.  Suddenly her English was much improved. She arrived with her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend.  We were sitting outside the house where it was less chilly than inside.  The daughter and her boyfriend went into the house looking for things.  We stayed very calm, as she ranted on and on, and we quietly told her we would leave the next day. 

She told us that was IMPOSSIBLE, then she said that she would return the next day, in the evening, and that we must wait until the evening to leave, so she can come and check everything.  Eventually, she left, after she realized that we would not leave that evening.

Early the following morning, we made our escape.  We tidied and cleaned all that we used.  It was now cleaner and tidier than when we arrived.  We left the dirty sheets and towels in the bathroom, as the washing machine did not work. 

We sent Revolta an email telling her that we had done this, and left the keys under a cardboard box on the verandah. We thanked her.

She emailed back immediately, saying she had our car number and intended to  report us to the POLICE.  We could not work out quite what for!  Surely she did not think we would wish to steal anything from that disgusting house.  Thank goodness that horrible saga was quickly over.

A few hours later, we arrived at our new apartment in the mountains in Rocca di Mezzo.  It was beautifully clean everywhere. Welcome back to the real world.  Hurrah!

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