Nomadic ghost-town resolutions in Basilicata to purge self- documentation


1/1/2023 | Stigliano, Italy> 1st day of 2023. Woke up in Locortoondo, beautiful sunrise (perhaps amplified by the lingering smoke from fireworks which we watched from the below view), left early west into Basilicata. Skipped Matera b/c we've been before + wanted to avoid tourists, instead went to a nearby ghost town called Craco that was abandoned b/c faulty plumbing led to a landslide that made the town unliveable. There was hardly any 1 on the roads (except cows, sheep + a fox) + we were the only 1s there when we 1st arrived besides some goats, sheep, friendly donkeys + barking guard dog (we snuck in), so we didn't venture too far in. As we were leaving we met this vagabond couple that was flying a drone over Craco. They had been travelling around in a van for 10 years + had resolved to do it 10 more years, as if on autopilot. Pushed on to Stigliano + went for a walk down a steep road in the countryside. Not much to the town, the restaurant in our hotel is the only place to eat.

1st sunrise of 2023 over Puglia


ghost town of Craco, Basilicata




1 for Goat Rodeo (which we've been neglecting in recent years)








abandoned rail station elsewhere in Basilicata



We made a long playlist for this roadtrip + today we came to the end of it + the last song just happened to be "Ghost Town" by the Specials, that as we mentioned in the last post popped into our head in Otranto, so we added it. And it played as we arrived to the ghost town of Craco... spooky. In the last end-of-year post we didn't mention music we listened to most in 2022, almost all of the most listened to tracks were drone music we were listening to as background music while we worked:

Running into the "Westfalia Digital Nomads," as they called themselves, got us to thinking of our years living in a camper van from 19871990 + then in a Econoline van from 19951996 ... a lot different than the "van life" that has become popular these days, especially during covid years. We didn't have all the gadgets + Internet access that ppl have nowadays + nvr would have imagined that there would be a whole culture trying to "make a living" off the way they live by exploiting themselves, showing what they do day-to-day. Back then we just did it to save on rent, live minimally + have the freedom to not be strapped to a landlord. We don't even like having a car... such a worry to even park it, can't imagine worrying about where you're gonna park your van or RV every night, worried about being hassled by police or riff-raff. And these homes-on-wheels guzzle gas. This might be our last roadtrip ever, this is perhaps our 1st resolution of 2023. We've been car-less since 2000 when we 1st moved to NYC, the best place (at least in the U.S.) to be car-less + a big reason why we're moving back... our distaste of motorized vehicles. We also resolve to travel less in general, not that we traveled much in the past 3 pandemic years, but seems air travel has gotten even more inhumane + decadent, especially being that our bedder-½'s new title will be "professor of climate." They have so many colleagues who work in climate change, yet travel around the world by air... seems such a hypocrisy. In general we resolve to be more efficient + less wasteful + the microcosm of NYC allows for that, living in small spaces using less energy w/ no car + good public transport + very walkable. And 2023 will also be about purging, at least the beginning, minimizing possessions before the move. We got a bit lax about eating meat this past month in Italy, so starting 2023 we will go back to being pesca-lacto-ova-vegetarian + like last year, we're gonna do dry January again (last year we actually had 3 dry months b/c we did it again in May–June). If our tinnitus goes away + our hearing comes back in our right ear we might even go dry permanently. These "resolutions" are becoming seasonal/cyclical patterns, an excuse to reset. We don't have a scale to weigh ourselves, but last year we weighed 177 at the end of year + lost 10-15 of it during 2022, but likely we've gained some of it back. Our goal is to get below 160 + say below 160, so eating + drinking less, exercising more... the usual shit.

In the last post we questioned whether we shd go anti-photography, as we've done before, perhaps after this post we will stop taking photos, or at least posting them here. It's hard tho, as often, even on this trip, we try to remember what a certain town or place looked like + we can look in our photos or on 5cense to jog our memory. But is this a crutch? Does this kneejerk reaction to take photos taint the experience? Back in the 80s we didn't journal thinking it would ever be public, we just did it for ourselves, just like we didn't live in a van to try to make a living off our lifestyle. Maybe in 2023 we'll spend a lot less time blogging (at least publicly) + spend more time on literary writing, making art + music, or just living life that is undocumented. Read the news less, spend less time on the Internet as it's becoming more + more monetized + toxic + soul- + time-sucking, the usual shit. We're already off all social media (tho in 2022 we lapsed back on twitter under the guise of Cal A. Mari before hopping off when Musk made his bid to buy it).

Reading Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke... which started out okay, but we started to lose interest when the aliens were described to look like devils w/ wings, horns + a barbed tail... really? Speculating about all these futuristic things is interesting, we just have a problem reading anything that's not narrative, we might not mind it so much as a movie, but seems the entire time we read such stuff we're aware it's story-telling + don't get absorbed into like U might a movie. We'd rather save our reading for more serious things.

Over the past few weeks we've watched all of Borgen, including the rebooted 4th season... it got less + less interesting. Season 4 especially seems they were just trying to push the right trendy buttons—climate change, suicide + alcoholism in Greenland, etc.—but not go anywhere w/ it. And Brigette becomes a monster + then suddenly in the last episode just conveniently redeems herself, like the character arc is a 90° angle.

Jan 2 | Ravello > From Stigliano we went straight north through Accettura (town where the Maggio festival takes place, where men cut down the tallest tree + strip the branches then cut a bushy tree + carry them w/ oxen to the town center + have a ritualistic fornication) then thru the "Dolomiti Lucane"... not quite the Dolomites, but beautiful + rugged. Then onto the autostrada to Salerno + the drive along Amalfi coast which we used to think was technical + stressful but are now growing accustomed to it, back up to Ravello... all sorts of chaos trying to check in + find parking as usual. Then walked down to Minori + had lunch at Giardiniello (buffalo mozz appetizer + pizza + our bedder-½ had vongole) then walked the 1300 steps back up (we didn't count them but overheard some Italian kids on the way down that did). Then had a bottle of prosecco watching the sunset over 1 of the most beautiful places on the planet. Our resolutions don't start til we get back on Jan 6 FYI, no way we're not gonna drink the free bottle of prosecco that came w/ our room, or last night we were nowhere near the ocean + our appetizer dish had "land" meat. And our picture-taking will stop once we get back. Then we had dinner at Osteria Ravello, which was disappointing.

Dolomiti Lucane





back in Ravello


cemetery above Minori


on the beach in Minori


1064 <(current)> 1066 > a travel fatigued ciao to the final leg of where the Tiber meets the sea
[  (ɔ)om.posted 2023  ∀/non i'm us  |  Ↄalamari arɔhive   ]