Writing you from Torre Melissa, a little town on the Jonio sea. My experience in Calabria is very different from the Sicilian yet equally extraordinary. The couchsurfing network here is pretty much unexhistent so I need to find other ways to get a roof over my head and food.
However word of mouth does the job and in most places i find somebody waiting for me. Sometimes I don’t and that’s even more exciting as i get there having no idea of what would happen.
Calabrians are a quite reserved but once you get through to their heart they’ll honestly do anything in their power to help. I feel welcome and very well taken care of.
The weather is getting warmer and warmer but still doesn’t bother my walking. Seaside towns are generally recentely constructed and nothing special, at times ugly, but when i get off the coast and adventure up the mountains I get to encounter ancien little villages of rare beauty. Unfortunately most of their inhabitants emigrated so there is plenti of “semi-ghost” towns.
It’s not turistic at all and except a few Germans and I feel the only intrudor in the heart of this deep and secretive land.
I mostly walk by the sea side and the Calabrian coast is wild, hundreds of kilometers of white sand and cristal clear water… And only me leaving my steps behind.
Unfortunately to smothen the angles of this raw beauty there is plenty of rubbish left in the most unthinkable places.
The “ndrangheta” is a serious phenomena here and it’s been oppressing the population since they can remember, which makes it a bit harder for me to catch dreams as a lot of Calabrian seem to have given up on dreaming for a better future.
I don’t see an easy way out the tunnel as it’s well rooted in the locals and well connected to the corrupted politicians here and on a national level. They generate a huge income through drug traffic, disposal of toxic waiste, constructions and even renewable energy. Moving serious cash to the north and abroad leaving the land and the majority of honest locals dry and frustrated.
This is the sad situation of Calabria, potentially one of the richest region in Italy, if not in Europe but forgotten and abandoned from its inhabitant first.
I leave my dream here hoping that frustration will transform in actions and not just pointless complains.