Category Archives: Camping Nomentano, Rome

Travel Decisionmaking Italy to Yugoslavia Hitch-Hiking and Transport

Commiserations to the traveller victims of terror, and all the other victims, this week. That was one of the reasons I stopped this blog, but they tell us to carry on as normal, so that’s what I’m doing. Everybody should know the risks by now, so it’s up to you if and where you go.

People think I’m a pseudo-enlightenment (perhaps real?) overnight success, but I’ve been on an introspective self-analysis self-improvement journey all my life. For a lot of the people in my life that I’ve discarded and now avoid, one of their biggest flaws for me was that they didn’t know/accept their parts in my life: which was a small piece in a big jigsaw over half a century old.

Second Batch of Diary

In the last batch of my 1987 travel diary I mentioned deciding to take public transport through Yugoslavia. I kept writing my diary on the paper notepad until sending my next batch in a packet from Crete; it contained the days September 18th to November 13th, 1987:

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Here’s the pages of my diary from journey to the Yugoslav border detailing that decision-making process, where I discuss with myself whether it was worth making it into my own personal expedition. If it had been a proper expedition, or training trial, I probably would have kept going, but it wasn’t, and I had been using public transport in and out of cities as well… as far as possible. It also includes a hitching day through thick fog, and poor sleep in difficult conditions.

 

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Rome Photos Built on Fantastic Day

This post is dedicated to a fantastic Italian woman from Milan, and a nice one from Reggio Emilia, and the good Italians I’ve met on my visits there and elsewhere, as well as my fellow campers at Camp Nomentano in 1987!

There’s an old saying that goes something like ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’; but I sightsaw it in a day; well, enough for me, although I probably only saw a small amount of what there is to see, and that from a just the surface category.

A Canadian traveller staying at Camp Nomentano reluctantly went sightseeing with me, showing me around, as he’d already done it. It was an amazing day, with lots of stunning sights on a hot sunny day. We also went to see the busking team at their regular slot. I took three photos: of the Colisseum, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Altare della Patria ([alˈtaːre della ˈpaːtrja]; English: “Altar of the Fatherland”) [Wikipedia], having to now look up the latter.

Rome from Home, Mystery of History

About three weeks after leaving home I reached Rome and spent a few days in Camp Nomentano. The shed beds were cheaper than pitching a tent, so I took that option. It turned out to be good on a social level too, as there was a cool crowd of people there. It was my first community away from home, and one I look back on with nice nostalgia. There was hot sunshine, and Rome being on the doorstep was a bonus.

Idyllic History Time Blurred but Still Recognisable 

Knowing more about humanity now, I wonder how long it would have lasted, and put the good atmosphere down to the time and place, rather than any inherent goodness in or about anybody. It was a great time because it was brief and shallow, without work or competition, new interactions with people who shared my old dreams.

It was special to me because it was my only such experience in my travelling around Europe, before reaching the stationery worker-traveller communities on Crete. For the others I met at Camp Nomentano maybe it was just another campsite; one of many they stayed at in Europe; or just another weekend for those staying longer, like the busking team.

But however much I try and diminish it, with the benefit of 30 years worth of experience and knowledge, now living in middle-aged grumpiness, knowing some of the current young hunt people like me with the ferocity of rabied rats; as I then viewed older people!; unable or unwilling to recognise anything other than their own disgusting desires (money, sadism etc), it still sparkles in my memory like the sun through greenY leaves while lying in one of the hammocks revelling in youthful laziness.

Here’s some photos, flyers and receipts from my time when Rome became my first home from home:

Rome Campsite, 1987, Photos

I’m in the green in front of our ‘shed’, with the sunshine and trees visible in the background. Homophobic conspiracy theorists will probably consider it evidence of gayness, but I put my distraction down to my self-diagnosed ADHD.

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My fun-loving-not-caring-about-acting/looking-the-fool personality was evident in this photo too, when I fumbled over taking the photo, but that brought out an even better one; I think, not remembering the original; with much merriment amongst my fellow travellers:

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Rome, 1987, Campsite Flyer

Here’s the flyer for the camp:

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Rome, 1987, Campsite Receipts

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