Yes Italy did win the world cup..... Well done.

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
Trip End Sep 26, 2006

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Flag of Italy  ,
Thursday, August 24, 2006

HELLO Kewlabahs,

Im in Rome where ive been for the last few days relaxing after an awesome mission to get here. After spending a day at Mt Etna i made my way to the Catania train station where i met two New Yorkers Austen and Cole who were also heading for Rome. We waited at the platfrom for our train and when it arrived it was absolutely packed. There were people cramped into the aisles like sardines, hanging out the windows and pushing their way into the already occupied reserved compartments. We decided to squeeze on with all our luggage and we found a spot with about 10 other people near the toilet that had a pungent stench filling the air around it. We stood there for about twenty minutes and the train still hadnt moved so after a small team meeting we decided that it would be too much to stand there for 9 hours surrounded by a bunch of Sicilians sweating like pigs in sandwich bags.

We headed for the airport and rented a Chevrolet station wagon that made us all feel like we were in a Chevy Chase movie. The New Yorkers who obviously had a bit of cash to wax up were dissapointed that all the Mercedes and BMWs were already out. After loading the car and discovering that i was the only one who could drive a `stick shift car we hit the Autostrada. The speed limit was posted at 100kmh i thought id push it too 120kmh to get us there quicker. I soon found that it was to slow and in order to keep up with traffic and avoid being abused id need to be doing at least 140kmh.

After we had taken a short ride on the ferry from Messina to Calabria the going speed increased to 160kmh in the `slow lane despite the road works making the road more of an obstacle course then an Autostrada. After a few hours charging through southern Italy the speed again increased, i now found myself giving the car all it had and clocking 190kmh at which point the New Yorkers began to shake in their boots, they had never gone so fast Ha Ha. I was fairly comfortable doing this speed since ive been to the DP school of driving - Some of you will know what i mean by that.
We travelled through tunnels that reminded me of the abrupt fate that greeted Princess Diana and drove across land covered in tomato, basil and oregano plants for hours. At one point i took my eyes of the road for a second and when they returned right in front of me was a motorbike truck with a tray full of fruit destined for the market going full throttle which would have been no more than 90kmh. I braked hard and veered right only to find myself now wedged between the motorbike and a BMW on a really narrow stretch of road. We escaped after only clipping mirrors with the BMW a very lucky escape considering i was doing 190kmh seconds before. In hindsight i shoud have just run the motorbike off the road!

We continued through the night and stopped in Napoli for breakfast. We decided to take the narrow coastal road to Rome where we had a little accident.... Since i was used to veering right and should have been veering left a bus came our way and i moved over to let it pass too much and hit a pot hole. Miles from nowhere i thought i had ripped the whole front end apart and we were doomed. After getting out we only had a flat tyre and a mising hubcap. The guys had no idea how to change a tyre so after i taught them they thought i was some sort of bush tucker man. They were so excited about getting a flat tyre and had to ring their parents right there and then and tell them all about their road trip with the `bush tucker man. We arrived in Rome a short time later where i told the car rental company much to their bemusement that i had hit a wombat and was sorry. All up it was a fantastic road trip and we were lucky to only get a flat tyre and not write the car and ourselves off.

The guys got their flight to Athens and i made my way to Tiber camping where i have spent the last few days hanging out with some very cool people and seeing all the sights Rome has to offer. The city still has in many parts, remains of the ancient city that sits about 10metres below todays street level which provides a striking contrast. When i went to the Vatican City i remember turning a corner on the bus and right in front of me was St Peters Basilica, i was blown awax like i have been so many times on this trip. I think Ill head to Pisa and Venice in the next few days.

Toot Toot, Ring Ring, Tookie Tookie

Mr Kewl..
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