With all our Greek passengers safely on board, we caught the ferry across to Italy to start our journey back to the UK.

During the crossing, we were able to park our van in a nice open spot with plenty of ventilation to keep everyone cool

During the crossing, we were able to park our van in a nice open spot with plenty of ventilation to keep everyone cool

Stella

Our first stop was at Sabrina’s dog hotel in Brindisi to collect Patrizia’s dog Stella, who’s on her way to Wokingham.

The hotel is a lovely place for dogs to stay, with shady compounds, and secure bedrooms. Everything is well designed to keep the dogs comfortable during hot summers (when it can go over 40C) and cold winters.

Sabrina with Stella, a gorgeous fluffy Maremma Sheepdog

Sabrina with Stella, a gorgeous fluffy Maremma Sheepdog

Stella wondering what 'Sit!' means. Mind you, she probably understood when courier M showed her a biscuit!

Stella wondering what ‘Sit!’ means. Mind you, she probably understood when courier M showed her a biscuit!

Floppy

We collected young Floppy near Stribugliano. This Maremma/Labrador cross is the offspring of Hartmut and Brigitte’s pet dog. Their son-in-law Alex has adopted Floppy, and she’s travelling with us to join him in Edinburgh. She’s a sedate and very cuddly young lady, but shows a stubborn streak when it suits her!

Darling Floppy gives us a cute look

Darling Floppy gives us a cute look

On the way to collect Floppy, we stopped in Castel del Piano, a town that attracts artists and tourists. This striking sculpture was in the garden of our hotel.

On the way to collect Floppy, we stopped in Castel del Piano, a town that attracts artists and tourists. This striking sculpture was in the garden of our hotel.

This one made us think of a dolphin leaping out of the water

This one made us think of a dolphin leaping out of the water

Our own living sculpture — Dolly!

Our own living sculpture — Dolly!

Here's an indoor one — a very typical Italian style

Here’s an indoor one — a very typical Italian style

Losings and findings as we drive around this part of Italy, where one beautiful scene is quickly replaced by another

Losings and findings as we drive around this part of Italy, where one beautiful scene is quickly replaced by another

Nelly

In Isolaccia we met up with Nelly, a very well travelled young lady. James adopted her when he was in Thailand, falling in love with her seductive brown eyes. He managed to negotiate the many hurdles which lay in the path of transporting her from Thailand to Europe, and now she’s on her way to the UK with Animalcouriers.

After spending some time with his family, James intends to take off again on more travels — this time with Nelly. New Zealand is a likely destination, which would see Nelly adding yet another stamp to her passport!

Nelly gets a proper send-off from James and his friend

Nelly gets a proper send-off from James and his friend

With all of our Italian passengers on board we headed towards the UK, passing through some amazing landscapes.

Spotted near the Alpine resort of Livigno

Spotted near the Alpine resort of Livigno

A frozen waterfall

A frozen waterfall

Rounding the top of a dam on the Italian/Swiss border

Rounding the top of a dam on the Italian/Swiss border

The satnav tried to direct us on to the Klosters Selfranga-Sagliains car train that runs through the Vereina Tunnel

The satnav tried to direct us on to the Klosters Selfranga-Sagliains car train that runs through the Vereina Tunnel