Camp Darby(USA),near Livorno,Italy

I'm just back from the above mentioned place so thought I'd put up a bit of information for those about to go or planning to go.

Firstly,there seems to be a bit of confusion about the whole Installation Pass situation.My wife and I travelled to Wiesbaden,after firstly filling a form in and submitting it to our HCSO's and then arranging an appointment, to get our pass. The staff were very helpful and after further form-filling,photos and fingerprinting we were issued with our passes. We didnt notice that it stated "Germany-USAREUR/USAFE ONLY" and this is where some people are panicking....

On arrival at Camp Darby the MP was happy to let me proceed solely on my MOD F90 but he didnt recognise either the IACS pass or British Dependants ID which my wife presented.We were directed to the MP station where she was issued a paper temporary pass. The only drama with this was that it stated quite clearly that she couldnt shop in the Commissary or PX. This was a bit of a pain in the arse which meant she couldnt enter either premise unaccompanied..

We then reported to the Sea Pines resort on Camp Darby and again the staff were very helpful. Although we were allocated a certain pitch number (we camped) the girl said we could basically pick any pitch we wanted. Location does make a difference due to the pool,toilet facilities and most of all,MOSSIES!!! There is a large wooded area which should be avoided due to the little blighters.

We had a pitch with electrical hook-up at $21 a night; each pitch also has its own water supply and access to a hot and cold water supply for washing up etc. The toilet facilities were excellent.They get cleaned 3 times per day as do the wash-rooms/showers. As a veteran of many courses and transit camps etc the fact that other patrons left behind gifts, in the shape of shower-gel etc, was a nice unexpected bonus :-D

Sea Pines organises many trips and activities which all are entitled to go on. We went to Vadda Beach,which was mega, and the Isle of Elba.The Elba trip was very good as the ferry fair was included in the price.Other trips were available such as Rome and Florence but these have a 5 am start which we didnt fancy. Other people we spoke to enjoyed those trips mind you.
Camp Darby also has its own dedicated beach which, again, you can go to.Its too far to walk to however and indeed,the main drag is out of bounds to walkers and cyclists from Darby due to RTA'S.

The pool costs $5 per day for adults and $3 per day for kids but you can get a family ticket for $70 so work out which is best for you.

Theres not that much to do on the camp itself apart from the pool. There's the PX, Commissary and a small Commissary (bit like an express NAAFI with different opening hours). There's also an Italian/American bistro which is handy for breakfasts and lunches.The cinema has the up to date releases. If you like to imbibe,which I do, then the Community Club is open each night,later on Fridays and Saturdays.It does snacks like wings and fries and the barman Ryan is a good guy.

Apart from camping there are also chalets and lodges which cost depending on the standard you want i.e aircon etc.

Sadly I better mention medical facilities. Mrs regular_imbiber suffered a bad reaction to insect bites which came out in weels all over her and also left her feeling tired and nauseous. As this happened at the weekend the MRS was closed and there being no duty medic we reported to the MP station. They jacked up an interpretor and phoned ahead to Pisa Hospital. She was given good treatment and a prescription which a 24 hour chemist issued straight away.The cost was €25 which could probably be claimed back if one could be bothered I imagine. No complaints about their procedures.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay at Camp Darby but would say it would be more enjoyable to go with your family or as a group of friends.Its not really ideal for couples.

PS Nearly forgot to mention that you need the vignette (temporary road tax) for driving through Switzerland if that's your route. We heard horror stories about only British vehicles being pulled and fined (€400) for not having one while other Europeans were ignored.Better safe than sorry.Also have a few euros ready for the Italian toll road ,think we were around €50 all in.

Now,where's my glass of rich red?
Interesting post R_I, perhaps better suited to the Travel section than the NAAFI though, perhaps a MOD can move it.
Welcome to the site by the way!

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