We spent last night at a delightful small rural hotel just outside the Italian port of Ancona. The parking was good and we had a lovely space to walk the dogs.

The overcast and rainy conditions that have accompanied us throughout this trip so far are still with us, but perhaps it will be a different story once we reach Greece.

Winston has been as calm as you would expect a Labrodor to be. He loves his walks, sniffs his way around and insists on marking out the territory very thoroughly.

Winston has been as calm as you would expect a Labrador to be. He loves his walks, sniffs his way around and insists on marking out the territory very thoroughly.

British Bulldog Winston is a dog after courier M's own heart and just loves his bed. It's a bit of an effort to get him to come out for a walk and he doesn't want to hang about and once he's finished his business β€” just wants to get back to his bed. We are very mean though and keep him walking for a while!

British Bulldog Winston is a dog after courier M’s own heart and just loves his bed. It’s a bit of an effort to get him to come out for a walk and he doesn’t want to hang about and once he’s finished his business β€” just wants to get back to his bed. We are very mean though and keep him walking for a while!

Lola is very sweet but seems to have a serious aversion to leads. We have come to a compromise with her: as she is so tiny we let her use a corner of her compartment as a loo, and carry her on her walks. This seems to working well for her.

Lola is very sweet but seems to have a serious aversion to leads. We have come to a compromise with her: as she is so tiny we let her use a corner of her compartment as a loo, and carry her on her walks. This seems to working well for her.

Roxy the Rotty is a calm girl who takes everything in her stride. She likes mooching about and takes a great interest in her surroundings.

Roxy the Rotty is a calm girl who takes everything in her stride. She likes mooching about and takes a great interest in her surroundings.

Sam is a fine dog who on first meeting we thought might prove overbouncy, but he has behaved impeccably. He is very good at taking his medication and very calm and gentle to walk.

Sam is a fine dog who on first meeting we thought might prove overbouncy, but he has behaved impeccably. He is very good at taking his medication and very calm and gentle to walk.

Bruno is a big softy and a bit of a worrier. On the advice of his owners we paired him with Issy to keep him calm. We have never seen a dog hoover food so quickly! Luckily we were warned to feed him away from other dogs as we're sure he would whip everyone else's grub otherwise! When walking his he is quite manic for a few moments but as the journey has progressed he has got used to the routine and is now quite calm.

Bruno is a big softy and a bit of a worrier. On the advice of his owners we paired him with Issy to keep him calm. We have never seen a dog hoover food so quickly! Luckily we were warned to feed him away from other dogs as we’re sure he would whip everyone else’s grub otherwise! When walking he is quite manic for a few moments but as the journey has progressed he has got used to the routine and is now quite calm.

Issy clearly wears the trousers in her family. She is very bright and quick to learn. She has been very easy to handle and good fun to be with.

Issy clearly wears the trousers in her family. She is very bright and quick to learn. She has been very easy to handle and good fun to be with.

Issy having a good shake

Issy having a good shake

Spangle and Toffee aren't too impressed by this travelling business and keep their heads down. But their appetites are good and they're keeping stiff upper lips about their situation.

Spangle and Toffee aren’t too impressed by this travelling business and keep their heads down. But their appetites are good and they’re keeping stiff upper lips about their situation.

Our impressively long ferry

Our impressively long ferry

The way on board

The way on board