Sea Fever

crowded beach


I long to go down to the sea again to the lonely sea ………. !

Hmm seems a few others had the same idea maybe not so lonely in August. The season is moving into top gear . Alerts were issued by the traffic office warning of long tailbacks on all major routes heading south yesterday as millions took to the roads.

The E55/SS379 from Bari to Brindisi is described by the police during this week as La Strada di Sangue Rosso ( the street of red blood) which is rather gruesome but describes the problem. It is but two lanes either side and has a plethora of entrances and exits as it is the major road connecting towns and villages as well as being a by-pass for bigger places like Monopoli. There are Greek and Albania truck drivers racing to Brindisi to get home to start their own  vacation. tired northerners arriving  after a 10-12 hour drive, local traffic, beach traffic, agricultural vehicles, clapped out old builders lorries, ancient Fiats, Lambrettas with beach wear clad 16 years olds weaving in and out  and add to that acceleration and de-acceleration lanes of only about 50 feet, so it is hardly surprising there are accidents. What you need is one of these

We are lucky that the closest we get to it during August is to go underneath just before and after the beach. our route from home is entirely on small back roads and you just need to be alert for the odd death wished Milanese or Torinese in a big Merc or Audi who thinks either he owns the road or is still on the motorway or both. Best retreat into the nearest driveway and let them feel important I find.

We sat on the beach this morning watching a couple of snorkelers with harpoons looking for octopus . It is about the only thing to catch in the sea off here these days. To that end from Trieste in the north to Bari down here they have started a 42 day ban on any fishing from boats. The authorities hope to replenish some of the stocks of fish in the Adriatic. The ban extends from tomorrow around the whole of the shoe of the boot and will soon include fishing up to Sardinia.

Personally I cannot imagine what 42 days can do to such a depleted fish stock and the cynic in me says this must be a ploy to raise fish prices in August which have remained static for 2 years. Italians are eating far less fish -13% in the last 10 years, less squid -14%  and less mussels -15%. Mind you they might say static prices but these three groups are over double the cost they are say in  the UK  and as most of the mussels come from Taranto where we have the problems with the steel works and the oil refinery maybe these falls aren’t too surprising. At least it is only fishing by boat you can still

The fisheries people say the decline is because Italians won’t buy foreign fish as they are unsure of the freshness. So after the ban all Italian caught fish will be labeled made in Italy just like the suits and leather gear which are actually made in China but sown together here by err yes you guessed it Chinese guest workers. Lets hope the fish haven’t come as far.

In Corfu a couple of years ago we got tired of fishing from a small jetty and catching tiddlers of 4 to 6 inches so decided one morning to take the local fisherman up on his offer to take us deep sea fishing at I hasten to add a fair old price. As we sailed out to the fishing grounds we imagined ourselves strapped into a chair on the stern fighting some huge shark for 4 hours before arriving home triumphant with our catch.  The only small setback was there was no chair. After about an hour the boat stopped and the guy handed out fishing rods with some bait.  We wallowed around for a few hours drinking rather warm beer and even warmer wine until one of the group got a bite. No racing reel, no need of pouring sea water first on the reel to cool it and then on the fisherman to cool him as he fought the battle. Instead he gently reeled in a fish similar in size to the ones we had caught off the jetty. However the greek fishing boat guy went into raptures. ” Big feeesch” he said ” very big feesch we go home now yes?”. It was then we realised we had been conned again.



About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Brindisi Airport, Driving in Italy, Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia, Puglia Beaches, Puglia Cooking, Puglia Food and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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