A bunch of Goats and an Elderly P.O.W.

Trip Start Jun 21, 2007
Trip End Jul 04, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Arrivederci  to Ravello, the haunt of the rich & famous Jackie Kennedy, Gore Vidal and Greta Garbo (so I read)!  We packed up our stuff and had breakfast at 7:45, leaving the hotel at about 9:00.  We stopped at a shop on our way out of Dodge to buy sandwiches and water for we weren't expecting to see civilization for the main duration of our walk that day.  We had two hiking options which would take us onto the Agerola plain- one which was 14k and would take us to Amalfi where we'd have to catch a bus to Bomerano OR option B - a 17k hike which would terminate in San Lazarro where we could call our hotel proprietor in Bomerano to come and pick us up.  Rebecca was quite keen on the 2nd longer and more challenging hike but I was leaning towards the other because I was quite excited about being near the coast.  Since they both started along the same route, we agreed to see how we both felt when we came to the point where the paths diverged and make our final decision then. 

The first part of the hike took us through the Grotta del Campo and then into a rocky valley.  The only sign of civilization we saw was a herd of goats and their goat herder, a strapping youth with curly locks.  Yum!  Each goat wore a bell around its neck which created a symphony of sound that resounded throughout the valley - WOW.  Rebecca was in 7th heaven, gushing over the mountains and taking delight in each and every step.  I, on the other hand, felt sluggish and, although appreciative of the majestic scenery surrounding us, not quite up to par physically.  Still, we carried on and after 10-11 kilometers, we came to the diverging spot.  Although I worried about the intense ascent that would come with option B, a part of me really wanted to "test my metal" and push my body to the point of no return, so we took the path less traveled. 

In the end, the ascent wasn't nearly as bad as I'd anticipated but towards the end, we had a hell of a descent to make to reach the town of San Lazarro.  My knees, both left and right, were screaming things that would definitely make a nun blush and that in a Catholic country were just not cool and probably outlawed.  But once in town, we found our way to the main piazza and treated ourselves to a wee cold beer.  We were joined at our table by an extraordinary elderly chap named Armando, an 87-year-old former prisoner of war during WWII.  He'd been imprisoned by the American Army and shipped to Wyoming of all places for the duration of his internment and forced to work on a ranch there.  Gee, it sure beats building bridges over the River Kwai and battling malaria I say!! 

After a nice chat with Armando, our driver arived and took us to Bomerano, a town on the other side of the Agerola plain.  The hotel there was definitely on the more homey side - a family-run establishment - but had a lovely and lengthy balcony for us to spend time on.  We took turns taking a shower in the smallest shower stall ever designed by man.  There was just enough room to turn around, but not enough to escape the spray from the shower head so we literally swallowed water while cleaning our bodies and washing our hair.  Is it possible to drown in a shower?  I then eased on down the road towards the main square so I could grab a little journalling time while Rebecca stayed in the room to veg.

After about an hour, I walked back to the hotel and Rebecca and I opened my 2nd bottle of wine purchased in Ravello for 25 euros.  We took it down to the hotel restaurant at 19:30 hoping they wouldn't object to us consuming it during dinner (they didn't mind).  We started our meal with an assortment of antipasto - grilled pumpkin, aubergine, courgettes, bruschetta, tomatoes, and solely for Rebecca - mushrooms and sardines.  It was truly divine and we savoured every bite!!  For my main dish, I had gnocchi with mozzarella and tomatoes - it too was delicious.  This was our finest meal up to that point and it was free, being included in the package tour from InnTravel.

Following dinner, Rebecca had a couple of lemoncellos and we sat out on our balcony visiting.  It was quite chilly so Rebecca wrapped herself up in a blanket, all chinchilla-like.  We then crashed into bed.
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