Trip Start Apr 07, 2009
1Trip End Apr 10, 2009
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Where I stayed
Had to say goodbye to Rome, possibly our new favourite Italian city - cabbed it out to Ciampino airport to pick up our hire car - a larger-than-we-booked hatchback/wagon, that we initially thought was cool. However once we got to Amalfi, and realised the width of the roads we were dealing with, decided a smaller car would have saved a bit of stress. Came very close to losing a few coats of paint and were very happy we went for the the zero excess on the rental car, but eventually made it to Positano. Carlo, a fat and jolly Italian man, happily greeted us at the B&B (Pensione Maria Luisa) and showed us to our room: a very generous sized room with our own private balcony overlooking the water - seriously great views, a beautiful place. Despite the room being great, the reception room reeked - there's no other way to say this - of cat urine. Choice. Did a walk into town in the late arvo, before stocking up for our own dinner at home. Not really sure about the 'Walk of the Gods' hike, as Carlo was a bit iffy on the details.
Well after today, we're not sure if we are kick-arse hikers or the Italians assume everyone moves in the same 'slow lane' as them. What should have been a good 7+ hrs hike took us just over 5 hrs, and that was with a very slow last 60 mins due to L's knee playing up while descending (the 1700+) stairs. Crappy map and information posts (with no information - just nice, freshly sawn blank signs posts) meant that we had to back track a couple of times, and thankfully, several locales strolled past at opportune times to advise of the correct path to take. And that was just getting to the start of the hike! It took 90 mins to find the actual start, by which time we'd climbed up a fair way already. Eventually got on the path and only saw one other couple the whole time we were up in the mountains. Amazing views of the Amalfi Coast. Ended up completing half of the 'Path of the Gods, which given our brekkie of macchiato and a pastry (and with only a banana for our hike, and limited water - crazy ridiculous given the heat), worked out nicely. To finish the hike we had 1700 steps from Nocelle down to Positano - our legs were visibly shaking afterwards (about 45 mins to walk / hobble down). Several cups of gelato later, we were able to stumble up to our pad and sit sipping (Ok, gulping) our ice cold Peronis - way to rehydrate. Walked (very slowly) down to our local restaurant for amazing dinner - local grilled sardine type fish, mozzarella and prosciutto, squid pasta and a delicious fresh fish done 'Napoli style' (cherry toms, garlic, oregano and white wine). Had to try the Tiramisu and oranges soaked in Grand Marnier and caramel. All washed down with a Limoncella, naturally. Grazie, prego and all that!
Should have been a very relaxed start to the day, given our massive day yesterday, however instead we decided to set the alarm for 6.15 so that we could get down onto the beach for dawn photos. Legs were not happy at all about descending or ascending any gradients first thing, but once we got down there, we managed to get a few good shots before the sun got too bright. We then frequented our local breaky hangout for the now-standard coffee and pastry at the bar. Soooo gooood. Then, mainly becasue we couldn't face walking back up-hill to our pensione, we went down to the beach to read our books and play with the cameras some more. Another coffee and a water later (for the ridiculous price of E8.50!!) and we were beginning to feel human again. Had the morning down in town chilling out, before sorting C out with new sunnies (first 30th present) and returning to the pensione for the arvo. C kipped while L chuckled her way through her new book while taking in the rays on the balcony. We then decided we needed one last swim in the Med before saying goodbye to it for a few years. We had noticed no-one at all was swimming though, and it wasn't for fear of sharks. We both got in, but I think our combined time in the water was equal to about two minutes - fairly chilly, you might say. Eventually went back down into town in the evening and had a decent pizza dinner, with a local easter desert special called 'Pasteera' (or something similar) - very nice. Feel like we've had a good couple of days here and are ready to move on tomoz, though will be sad to say goodbye to our amazing views (I'm sitting in bed now, while able to see a beautiful full moon reflecting on the Med, listening to waves lapping the shore....).
Down to our usual coffee and pasrry bar for one last breaky, before grabbing a few last minute photos of Positano. Like Rome, it started getting overcast and raining, just as we were leaving - perfect. Got our stuff together and picked up the car from the car-park, then encountered the first of the heavy traffic for the day, trying to leave Positano - Good Friday parade. Made our way to Sorrento, which, despite sounding like a lovely place, is actually quite a hole, with awful traffic and rather aggressive motorists. And did I mention no traffic signs of any use? We initially wanted to go there to get a coffee and lunch, but were satisfied to leave, with plain ciabattas and a jar of nutella. Hit the road and eventually made our way to Ciampino (Rome) where we were staying for the night before out flight to Berlin.