I sat this morning reading in the local rag that Puglia beaches had won a couple of as always ‘prestigious” awards and thought those of you planning to come to buy, live or holiday might be interested. I was finding it a little hard to concentrate as I have to admit to feeling a little worst for wear after a fairly lively dinner last night. I was very much reminded of the explanation Sebastian Flyte’s friend gives Charles Ryder for his accident.
” The wines were too various, it was neither the quality nor the quantity that was at fault, it was the mixture. Grasp that you have the very root of the matter. ”
So back to these awards , well Ostuni the beach I posted about last Thursday has won the 5 sails award and only 5 beaches in Italy have that award for sea cleanliness, rubbish collection, beach cleaning and good designated walking and nature reserves. I would attest to all those at that beach. The other award is the Vanity Fair top 10 sparkling sea awards one of which went to Campomarino. Now my rather fuzzy brain couldn’t immediately place it but a google search revealed it is south of Taranto . However the same search didn’t reveal anything about any Vanity Fair awards especially in the sparkly sea category. I think it is like those awards you see when you enter an English curry house for a meal after the pub. If you are sober enough to inspect the award more thoroughly you find it is the top curry house in Oxfordshire awarded by the Chittagong Times of Chittagong Bangladesh.
That said Campomarina looks really quite nice and as it isn’t that far from here I will check it out for you next week. In the meantime here it is on video
and to be fair the seas are sparkly aren’t they . The beach we use has the EU blue flag award though like all things EU I am a little cynical about them. It is a 30 minute drive to Torre Canne ( Reed Tower) and not only boasts some nice beach area and clear swimming but UNESCO sand dunes as well.
Apart from August that is how it looks on every weekday though the weekends are of course much busier. There are lidos all the way down so parking is under cover and loos handy but we deposit ourselves just outside the lido area and use our own bedchairs and sunshades etc. If you want really white sand then you must drive much further south towards the bottom of the heel to Gallipoli, the beaches to the south of town are pure white sand. It is also the Puglia mecca for beach parties, beach concerts and hedonistic youth so we of a certain age avoid it though maybe not the lady of a certain age in this song
Now all this talk of beaches makes me want summer to arrive. We have un assaggio or a taste of it this weekend but it has yet to really show it’s face. In fact it is the coldest start to June in Puglia for 30 years. However my iPod beach compilation is taking shape and this is a favourite. You can here the sea can’t you and feel the sun on your skin
now at the start of this we mentioned Chittagong and it reminded me of a visit there I took in 1989. I had been out with the local sales guy meeting travel agents in my role with British Airways and went back to the airport in the evening to catch the Indian Airlines flight to Calcutta. The flight was delayed 4 hours and for obvious reasons Bangladeshi airports are dry so I turned to my companion and said where can we get a beer. Well he said I am member of the Chittagong Club would you mind going there it is a bit run down. Lead on said I . We arrived at this beautiful old club that hadn’t changed since 1874 when it was founded except the name on the tennis singles championship board was no longer Maj. Tomlinson-Smythe-Browne but Som Gupta. The veranda looked out over the Bay of Bengal and the lights of the ships heading down to Cox’s Bazaar were clearly visible. The waiter in white pajamas ghosted in and served our ice cold beers and we ordered fresh caught prawns in chilli sauce as a snack. They were the length of my hand and tasted superb. We sat there sipping beer and eating prawns and I swear you could hear the chatter of English tea plantation managers from years ago in the huge billiard room next door. It was magical and if ever Vanity Fair do a best veranda in a club award this club should win it.
Remind me tomorrow to tell you an amusing story of a rubber plantation manager and his P&O experience.