With a heavy heart we say goodbye to Liguria and our nice landlords Marica and Paolo. One thing is for sure,we will be back! We decide not to drive on the highway yet. So we take a direct road through the mountains, direction Turin. This will be an unspectacular ride home. We thought. How could we know by this time, that we will get the Wrangler stuck in the mud today…
In Piemont we go on the highway to cover some ground and to pass the big cities the fastest way possible. For a while I set my mind to finding out where the Matterhorn is. Yes, I am Swiss. And no, I’ve seriously never seen the Matterhorn live. And it’s really hard to recognize it from the Italian side. The pictures we all know are always taken from the same spot on the Swiss side. After quite a while I give up and I decide it must be somewhere in the Alps. We drive off the highway in Santhià, to see some more of the countryside.
Castello di Vettignè
Santhià is a Village somewhere between Turin and Varese. We follow the road towards a mystical, quite ruinous castle complex.
Mr. Google tells us, that this is the Castello di Vettignè. It’s a medieval castle dating back to the 15th century. According to the italian Wikipedia, the name of Vettignè is derived from the word vectigal (engl. revenues). This village of Vettignè was the crossing point between the Via Svizzera and the Via Francesca. Therefore, everyone who passed through the village, had to pay for the transit right.
Wrangler stuck in the Mud
After cruising on some dirt roads around the Castello di Vettignè, we want to empty the dogs and make a halt. We drive further down the dirt roads, until we see a big mudhole. Alex, Mr. Confidence, says “yeah, that’s no problem. We’ve seen worse.” And drives on.
Next thing, we’re in that mudhole. Trying to drive forward, nothing happens. Backwards, nothing. No movement at all, except the one deeper in the mudhole. Alex, in his calm way says “I think we’re stuck”. I have a short but pretty intense panic attack, after I realize that we are in the middle of nowhere. No houses where we could ask a farmer with his tractor to pull us out. We have a winch of course. Unfortunately it is of no use if there’s nothing to hook it up to. No tree as far as the winch goes, only fields. OK. Breathe and try to find a solution…
After some walking around, trying to calm myself, I finally find six wooden slats in a drainage trench. We use those to get us out of the mud step by step. Always pulling the slats out of the mud and putting them back under the wheels. It works! After half an hour of repeatedly almost falling head first in the mud, we made it. Yeah!
Next stop Tessin
Happy but tired, me make it to my parents’ vacation home. It lies in a beautiful spot in the Canton of Tessin in Switzerland. We are going to spend a night there to prolong our vacations. We chat about our adventures and spend a nice evening.
Wrangler in the Car Wash
Before we head on home the next morning, we go to the car wash. Next to some already polished BMWs and Audis. Their owners have probably never seen a dirty car before, judging the looks on their faces… 🙂
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