This road is like the Great Ocean Rd on steroids! and you should see how buses juggle their way around roads about 10ft wide!
26.05.2011 27 °C
Minori is our last destination on our Italian leg....
Its another 2 hour train trip down from Rome through incredible hills and stone villages....but not after a little drama back at the ranch...I couldn't find my passport as we packed up ready to get to the train....oh God, what a horrible feeling and in a rush as well...the whole gang chipped in and pulled all my stuff apart hoping to find the bloody thing...it seemed ridiculous that it wasnt there when i'd seen it the night before...anyway, we had to leave not knowing where it was and an awful feeling leave Rome on the train without it!....thank god, it was found when we got to Minori....damn thing slipped under a plastic bag inbetween the lining of my overhead bag=phew! but was rather upsetting and stressful to say the least- sorry to Clare,Mahony,Rob and lisa(caused a bit of angst I did!)
So we get to Naples and its bloody dirty,smelly,crowded and chaotic...we'd been told to expect that and not a place to hang around at all...so we got whisked away by a driver,Reno...Lisa booked him from Aust and fantastic to have that organised...Getting to amalfi from naples takes about an hour,depending on traffic and cost about 100 euro...easy for 5! and well worth every cent.
Minori is one of the smaller towns along the Amalfi coast...but really lovely and not quite as touristy as Positano of Amalfi itself...its also great cos its at sea level, unlike the rest of the towns that mostly seem to dangle of the edges of the Amalfi cliffs all the way around to Sorrento on the Bay of Naples- so we'd thoroughly recommend staying there cos you can actually swim in its beach...brown sand with small rocks and you can hire an umbrella/deckchair if you want.
As its our last week together!! yes, can you believe our trip is actually coming to an end this week!! we wanted to have a quiet week by the beach enjoying the Amalfi style of lliving....Jady ( Moys brother from Melb),Viv and their kids Miranda and Leo came over from their place in Calabria( they're living there for a few months) to have a week with us.
Things to do while you're on the Amalfi Coast- Beautiful azure ocean, brilliant seascape,white Italian villas carved into the cliffs,rocky backdrop of mountains behind- all simply gorgeous.
So take your choice of holiday things to do-
Eat, drink,Eat,coffee,drink,gelati,swim,shop,drink,walk,drink,run,eat,gelati,take a boat ride around to Capri and see the blue grotto or maybe take a BUS RIDE TO YOUR DEATH!!!!!!!!
There is only one road along the Amalfi coast- its about 4-5 metres across and less in some spots.It rises and descends around the cliffs to navigate its way from Salerno to Sorrento...a distance of only about 40kms but if you go in a bus it takes about 3 hours to get around. They have full size buses that travel in both directions...and often packed to standing room only. If you dont like heights,and dont like windy roads then whatever you do...dont do it...it could take years off your life and quite possibly take your life itself! so just imagine- 2 buses meeting on the top of a cliff on a hairpin turn,facing each other with no room for either bus to proceed. The driver has one hand on his mobile phone and chatting incessantly to his mates out the window.
All the traffic behind banks up....no where to go...so one bus backs up...yes, thats backs up so the oncoming one can scrape through any existing space left over the edge of the cliff. The wall edge is a tiny,rock wall approx 2 feet high and protecting you from a 600ft drop to your death in the beautiful Mediterranean ocean below! Oh my God, the most terrifying ride of my life!
Lucky for Campari and blood orange at Crystals ( the Gelati come Bar next to our place!) thats all I can say- well, that was the daily reward for suffering such agony!
We soon discovered that travellling by ferry was the only way to get around the Amalfi....and probably the way you're meant to...the road is only 50 years old....probably made for the odd donkey i reckon! still, they are incredibly relaxed drivers who do this everyday...and you have to hope they dont really want to die....and so probably do know what they're doing!
We hired a driver and spent a day exploring Pompeii ruins.....absolutely fantastic and highly recommended to get a personal guide ...cos its so big but really worth sharing the cost...then Francesco took us up to the very top of Mt Versuvious...rising an incredible 1km behind Pompeii. We got to the very top- not quite as hairy as the coast road, then you get to walk to the top on a track for about half hour....to see the crater and it was SMOKING!!! ssshhhheeeeshhh, could blow at any minute!! slightly unnerving to say the least- well, Jady,Viv,Mahony and Robyn walked the last hour or so....Clare,Lisa,Moy and kids enjoyed the cafe coffee and vino while the others sweated their way to the top!
Its a very impressive view up there!
It was a lovely week....very relaxing after 5 weeks on the go....Pompeii was such a treat too and incredible to witness. We even got to see some real skeletons that were preserved as they died during the eruption- quite a difficult thing to see really!
Robyn lost her wallet on that elusive bus....but looking back ...it could have been pickpocketed...they took her cash but luckily got it back complete with cards....thanks to the interpreting skills of Viv- cheers Viv!
So after a week there...we pack up our gear once again but this time to say goodbye to each other....
Lisa flying back to her mum and dads in Chester.
Moy and Mahony flying to Dublin for a week in ireland
Clare and Robyn flying to Greece for another 2 weeks.
Its been a fantasitic experience for us all....
we've seen so much!
and realise how lucky we've been to have had such a wonderful time.
Whats next ????