I took the dogs out to the beach a couple of times, before the forecasted snow arrived. It was nice to have great open spaces with hardly another person in sight, the dogs love walking on the sand and although they’re both wary of the sea, they both like being on the beach. During school holidays in the summer-time dogs are banned from beaches, so most dog walkers tend to be out with their animals in spring and autumn.
The beach at Francavilla was completely deserted, but a depressing sight to behold, the summer facilities were boarded up and locked away and the sand was littered with evidence of holiday-makers. There’s something bleak about holiday destinations out of season. I recall a holiday town in New Zealand I visited during a working tour out there, the whole town had a depressing aura about it, and Francavilla is the same under metallic coloured skies.
Next time, we went to the beach at Ortona, it’s adjacent to the port and rather small, but at least it’s clean. The sea is quite choppy, almost as if it’s having an argument with the shore. Waves roll in, foaming viciously; white horses stampeding as the harsh wind stabs at my cheeks like invisible hypodermics. We walk along the moored boats that are bobbing wildly as huge waves splash over the breakwater soaking any unfortunate passer-by,
There’s something about the beaches once the umbrellas have been removed and the holiday makers have left, it feels like they start to belong to the local population once again as the dog walkers, young men with fishing rods and couples bundled up against the cold reclaim what’s theirs.