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Friday, 19 July 2013

Meeting the Wolf Whisperer of Barrea

Reluctantly leaving Matera (and our Gucci hotel treat) we headed north. I plucked a camp ground from an Alan Rogers recommendation and we arrived late in the afternoon at the campsite in Barrea. As we approached the reception cabin we noticed an elderly man sporting a large white beard and a balding head, looking like 'uncle Albert' from Only fools and Horses, standing in the middle of the road who, on spotting our approach, immediately began to button his shirt and make himself presentable for visitors. As we drew alongside him it was clear we were going to engage in conversation. His first words were "hello, I am famous." Great I thought, trust us to meet the town drunk as soon as we arrived! We were then subjected to a tirade of this gentleman's achievements in life which included being on the BBC and writing a number of books. "Thank you for telling us", I said, "but we are here for the camping". "Yes camping, come this way". It appears we have been talking to the proprietor of the campsite all along. Bit of a character is Tommaso. The entire campsite is dedicated to his infamy from meeting the Pope to climbing K2. There are photos all over the office and the reception and even a big portrait in the bog, all testament to the greatness of this man. I should have realised sooner. The large cape and giant 'S' across the chest were a bit of a giveaway!
It was all a bit of a shock to begin with, but you warm to Tommaso, the Wolf Whisperer, especially if you have one of the drinks he invented. He calls it the 'drain cleaner' and I have to confess I have had no problems with any of my pipes since!
Tommaso, this is a great little campsite but what about some toilet paper in the loos??