10 August 2010
This camping ground was a little bit noisier than the one in Troyes, as we were awoken by dogs barking etc and we had arranged for Mum and Dad to meet us at the camp at 9:15 o be ready to leave for Sorrento at 9:30am, so we high tailed it into the showers, which were great as you could control the temperature and how long it ran for which was uncommon for this road trip thus far! Time was ticking by and it was not 9:30 and Mum and Dad had not appeared so we text and said heading to reception for a coffee meet you guys there. A few cafe latte's later and still no Mum and Dad and the clock was now saying 10:00 so we thought we may as well see if we can find them, perhaps they were in the cells for the night, hospital who would blooming know. So we drove up to the centre where they were staying in search of their hotel. In the meantime I had phoned them both numerous times and had fired them a couple more texts, no word, hmmm???? Finally Bazza theBeast phoned to say that they would meet us at the supermarket, not much else was said and we headed to the supermarket. We hung round out front for a few minutes, no sign so proceeded to et some food for breaky, although Grace I am not sure 1kg of cooked roasted potatoes counts as breakfast food???? We all mosied around getting our bits and pieces and congregated in the car park, when finally we spotted them and they pulled up. Yes, they had in fact been at the police station . . . . . . . but it is not what you think, the cars windscreen wipers had been stolen and the windscreen was covered in something very sticky so they had been trying to clean it up and talk to the cops ad find out where we could get some new wipers! Off to the local petrol station and we not only got new wipers, but we also got ol Terry bandaged up to as the back boot window had come loose, boom, go the Italian garage attendants!!! Finally at about 11:30 we were on the road to Sorrento. Once again we made good use of the servo's for lunch and Grace, Nev and I motoring along the motorway in Terry at a great pace, safely arriving in Sorrento to book in to La Maridiana our hotel, all was achieved without making one wrong turn, you beauty!! As there was no pool at our accommodation (we did get excited when we opened our bedroom window and spied a lush pool, a quick search for access on the ground and bottom floor, and all we could find was a blooming toilette, not my kind of swimming pool!!) we went in search of a Laundromat, and internet, found both, luckily for us the internet was in a pub so we refreshed ourselves and we also found the best kebab shop in the world across the street. We decided that after a few pints and we had finished on the net that we would have kebabs for tea, followed by a homemade antipasto platter on the rooftop sundeck of our hotel whilst watching the sunset and sucking back on some gins, wine and Mt Gay rumbo!!! Grace and I checked out the kebab shop, and the kebab shop man checked out Grace, who he later called his love and asked her to come in the back with him!!! Don't worry Spike, she did mention she was unavailable, but that was after she had secured herself a kebab with every sauce in it and hot chips in it (that's 6 sauces!!). I must admit these were amazing, only €4.50 each and they were massive and oh so tasty!! So we enjoyed these roof top with the antipasto goodies we bought at the supermarket and watched a beautiful sunset.
11 August 2010
Exploration of Amalfi coast was on the agenda today and there was no way we were going to be driving and this was only based on the traffic we saw around us and on the drive in, cluttered skinny roads, too much!!So after slogging back yet another buffet breakfast with all the trimmings - meats, cheeses, croissants, cereals, toasts etc etc - we headed to the train station to catch a bus to Amalfi. We nailed it with the tickets - €7.50 for an all day pass where we could get off in any of the towns along the coast. Next step was finding the bus stop, check, we did not expect to see a cue that was bigger than one you would see for the giant drop a dream world!!! Buses were coming every 30 minutes or so, we didn't get on the first one but we ended up being front of the cue, this put us informally in charge of crowd control as we were not letting anyone jump the cue. We managed to get rid of a few people jumping in line, one Italian couple waltzed up we told them to get to the back, they moved 4 steps we said right to the back, 'ci, ci bella' they said angrily at Mum, but they didn't move and they got on our bus!! Well we weren't having that, but what can you do? Well I'll tell you, you can get one O'Byrne and seven Patton's seated at the front of the bus, thumbs down and booing at them!!! We were lucky as the bus was very comfortable and had aircon. We had a very relaxed bus driver who must be very experienced to be driving around the coast passing other buses with millimetres of room to spare it was a tad frightening at times, don't know how they did it! So this fact and the fact that as we passed by towns that cars were parked miles from the centre or any beaches we decided despite the long cue up taking the bus was the way to go. The trip took approximately 1hr 30 to Amalfi. We had a look around the town and then settled in for lunch. I had a beautiful mixed seafood tomato pasta, filled with mussels, clams, prawns, and calamari it was delicious, up there with best meal yet!!! We shook Mum off and us kids headed to the water for a much needed swim. We had to go off the rocks, as most beaches on the Amalfi coast are private and you have to pay to use them, and loungers and deck chairs that are on them, so the rocks suited us fine!! We went to the bus stop and waited for the return bus, we were a bit naughty and when it arrived we climbed on using the back door to ensure we got a seat, and we did, we were the backseat bandits to Paiano where we planned to get off and visit the Greens who were staying here. Unfortunately after climbing which felt like Mt Everest in this heat to their hotel, we were told they were not in, we "really should have thought out it", so we had a gander at the great views and headed back down the hill to town to get home Tuborg chilled beers and sit in the shade whilst admiring the views and waiting for the bus. We soon wished we hadn't got off the bus at all as when we climbed on we had to stand which meant that we were out of reach of any aircon. You would have thought we were standing under a waterfall with the amount of sweat trickling down every surface and crevice of our bodies . Luckily some cats got off in Positano and made some space for us to si and recover for the rest of the 40 minute journey!!It was into the shower when home and then back to our local pub the Banana Split for some more refreshments and internet usage. We caught back up with friends form NZ who had arrived in Sorrento who had been at the party the week earlier - Buchannan's and Malloy's. We decided to be a bit sneaky a happy hour rolled around and we hadn't eaten yet, plus the kebab shop was eyeballing us from across the street. We decided to sneak the kebabs into the pub which meant that I wasn't disrupted when having a slow comfortable screw against the wall with a kiss!!! (A COCKTAIL YOU FILTHY ANIMALS). After a good catch up and plan for tomorrow - all 11 of us booked onto our own private boat to Capri island! - we headed home to be ready for the day ahead, I just hope the captain packs enough cold beer!!
12 August 2010
We were picked up at about 9:15am and driven to the marina to board our boat. It was a huge 12meter glorified canoe with a motor, we were a bit circumspect to begin with as it did not resemble the picture, but it ended up being a bloody BOOMER!! We putted across to Capri from Sorrento in about 1.5hours and had 2 hours to spend looking around. We got some tickets to go up the funicular (up hill tram car sort of thing) rather than walking what we were told was 2km up hill (later found out apparently it was only 750m, but still in this heat, poof, I don't think so!!) It was a pretty nifty ride up to great views at the top. It is a very expensive town so most of us whipped around and window hopped, Gwenny Boo Boo informed her hubby Graham that he was lucky she had left her wallet behind as she would quite easily have spent €1000.00!!! Some of us climbed up to other viewing pints around the town, some had coffees, gelato's and then headed back to the bottom for a gander a the hop there and the marina. I found my next Birthday present plopped in the marina so for any of you wondering hat to get me just visit Capri and look for the biggest boat moored!! We bumped into the Greens as they were arriving and we were ready to re board the boat with the Caitanoand guide Raphael. The plan of attack was to travel around the whole island and visit three grotto's and caves, swimming, snorkelling and of course drinking beer and vino (this was offered as soon as we got back on the boat and was quickly received!!). We really wished that we had a waterproof camera to how off all the great pots that we went to that was really only accessible by swimming through or to. First stop and all but Bazza got in - someone had to look after the boat and take pictures (Thanks for taking a bullet for the team Bazza, one day the speedo's and water wings will get a whirl!!). Raphael showed us a cave that you can swim through when the tide is lower and then us young guns, Graham and Ma Pats swam over to a cliff that leads to a cave. It was hard going getting out of the water so Ma Pat Pat stayed to look after the . . . . . ah well she stayed in the water while we climbed the stairs up to a cave. Simon had gone ahead and we all had to hold hands and walk through a dark tunnel to get in. We were greeted by an echoing voice "Scooby, is that you Scooby, I can see you . . " But we couldn't see him, he sounded like he was way up the back of the cave, and then BOOM, he jumped out from behind a medium size rock and scared the beegezers out of Raphael it was hilarious!! The cave was amazing you could look out to the water from it and it was like looking out through the mouth of jaws! We scrambled back down the rocks to Mum and swam back to the boat. Lunch was waiting - yummy sambo's and more vino and beer! We carried on around the island and saw even more beautiful boats - Lady Christina was my new favourite, oh to be able to get on board just for a squiz!! Raphael reckons she would cost about 50million and then it would cost 10% of that per year to run!! We then pulled into another wee cove and jumped out of the boat to swim through a grotto to the other side to meet with the boat (kids and Ma Pat Pat and Christine). This cave/grotto was beautiful, crystal blue water of varying shades, cool rocks that were purple in colour because they don't see the sun. Again we wished we had a waterproof camera!!!! We climbed back aboard and continued to go around the island. We collectively decided that we wouldn't go to the blue grotto, as you had to line up in a massive cue, to then be taken by a little dingy into the cave and were only allowed in for 1minute, so we flagged t and bought a post card of it instead which was passed around haha, cheapo's! We made it back to Capri, round the whole island ad headed back to Sorrento. Raphael had two more surprises up his sleeves, the first was a tiny waterfall which they pulled the boat up alongside and drove under it so we could get wet and cool off, not a huge waterfall but just when we needed a dunk under cold water Raphael provided!! The next, and final stop, Raphael asked us if we wanted another swim, for sure we said and he told us to jump off the boat, right near people fishing off some rocks, we were a bit worried we might get hooked but nevertheless we got in! He then directed us to swim though the rocks and what e found on the other side was basically a swimming hole, which was surrounded in rocks, rock cliffs and trees. It was probably my favourite of the day. It could be accessed by the road somewhere so there were about 10 others swimming but it was very cool! A shame - no underwater camera to nap it!! Bradley and Simon climbed up 5m rocks and prepared themselves to jump. The other random swimmers were counting them down and one by one they jumped off flying arms and legs stretched out as if they were going to hit the water in a big belly flop and calling out "SUPERMAN!!!!" quickly pulling themselves in so that they would land softly!!! The crowd were lovin' it!! Back on the boat more sun bathing and vino's to enjoy on the rest o our trip back to the marina. What a day, I highly recommend this, or if you want you can actually hire and captain your own boats so if you were into it this could also be worth looking into! Christine had seen an English pub in town and were keen for some MEAT!!! So we agreed to shower up and meet roof top for some pre dinner drinks, antipasto platter and watch the sunset before heading out for tea. Gins, rums, beers, wines, vodkas were flowing and washing down cheese, olives, pesto, salami, ham, crackers, chips, gherkins, and roasted peppers whilst we enjoyed some great music, watched the sun disappear and then as usual at 8:45pm were treated to cannons blasting out loud over Sorrento - well that's what it sounded like, could have been fireworks but real tiny ones with a huge bang! We finally packed the gang up and headed down the streets of Sorrento. What an awesome scene, they shut the streets off from traffic and the streets are filled with people and restaurants that have overflowed into the streets and plenty of shops open for business too! They also had street performers, well those people who pretend to be statues. We were behind the pack a bit and when we came through we found Nev and Grace jumping around in front of one guy that looked like a mime, trying to make him blink and unable to. They paid him and he gave Nev a high five and finally blinked and then reset himself until the next person would pay him some moolah. We the dared grace to get up and pretend to kiss him. She leaned up to him, he didn't blink, but he was too tall, so next Bradley says, "I am the only b****** that will be able to reach him" so he stretches up the guy doesn't blink but Bradley gets closer and closer - was never gonna kiss him - but the guy didn't know that so he finally, not blinking, retreats his head slightly - boom! Haha we gave him some money and he turned his head to Bradley gave him a wink, gave him a boom knuckle touch and reset his pose. We finally reached our restaurant and got seats right outside street front and were treated to a live mandalin player singing Italian music that we all knew, Mum especially that could be translated to English so Ma Pat Pat joined in every song and at some points the dude actually handed all singing responsibility over to Mum! I am not too sure if the other restaurant goer's liked this or not, but we had no complaints. The singer had to leave to catch his bus but we were then treated to more entertainment from the wait staff and chef, who appeared to spend more time out front with us than in the kitchen. The waiter was aptly named petal as he referred to everyone as flower when taking orders, he had a ring on that Nev was checking out and said oh thats nice he said yeah, take a closer look, and his ring had a man and a women doing a 69er!!! Hah, filthy Italian! The chef was a great laugh too popping in and out, asked Simon what he was having and said he had better be prepared to sit on the toilet all day tomorrow, hahah. We asked him his name, which he said was Luigi, we then asked where Mario was, he looked down and taped his package and said, he is in here! We found out he was single and Simon offered himself, stating he was gay, Luigi said, no no I want women, so Simon proceeded to offer up Mum, Christine and Gwenda, without much resistance from their husbands! Luigi said no no I don't want these women I want this one - and pointed to me, hey sexy I am coming back ia minute for a photo. Alright Luigi! He came back and I nestled up on his lap for some photo's it was too funny. When we left I gave him 2 kisses, one on each cheak and then he said 3 and pointed to his lips, I said no no, why not he enquired, I said I had a man, where is this man, why is he not here - good point I said and we embraced in a passionate kiss . . . NOT! We shook him off and headed down the street taking in the entire atmosphere. I arrived back to our room and all the young guns were having shots of Cointreau, I left them to their own devices to make a phone call, I came back to a locked door 40 minutes later and with constant banging, I was not able to rouse Simon or Grace. Before I disrupted the whole floor I decided I would have to go to reception to gt let in, I was escorted back to the room with the receptionist and let in to find two little stink bombs sound asleep, one snoring! I turned the light on smacked both their asses, still no response and I hit the hay! In the morning they couldn't even remember and said that their shots party went down like a lead balloon as they were having Cointreau and Bradley had his first, apparently his reaction was so bad that Simon had to have his and Nev's and Grace's was carefully put back in the bottle.
13 August 2010
We treated ourselves to a bit of a lie in, rising at about 9am for breaky, showering up and heading to send the day touring the centre of Sorrento. We caught a road train which had headphones to describe parts of the city we were seeing, but at the end of it we were not much more informed and were just happy to be sitting down for a change. We all split off and did our own things, making very few if any purchases - Mum bought some Italian wooden trinket boxes and wall hangings, but theret of us were pretty poor on the shopping front. A few had siesta's in the evening before meeting in town for a few drinks and later meeting up with the Malloy's and Buchannan's at our favourite the English inn. Luigi and flower were back on deck. Luigi came out with some crackers tonight, first when he saw us he said "Bloody Norah" a term we definitely use in NZ and were surprised Luigi had cracked it out in Italy. He then spied me before I headed to the loo, "Hey Sexy, where you going?" I said to the toilette, "Oh what, bloody s***ten hell" I mean where does one come up with phrases like these. We finished our drinks and dined across the road in a gorgeous outdoor garden area that was covered in lights etc. It was here we had some discussions of when we were kids, and Mum and Dad admitted that Simon and I were the naughtiest most difficult children to look after when YOUNG, with Mum admitting I was the worst! (Quietly I could probably agree, but now I am sure things are reversed!). Malloys, Mum, Dad and the two naughty ones went next door to have dessert - gigantic meringues, stuffed with cream, gelato, sorbet, and fresh fruits they were delicimo! They also had outdoor seating with entertainment - a dude playing music, and tambourines which the staff passed around. Well like Marie needs any encouragement soon she was off shaking her hips and ass and shaking that tambourine around the crowd, above her head, around people dancing, Dad was severely embarrassed so of course Simon and I encouraged her!! The staff loved it too! Mum Si and I stayed for a bit more action then wandered along the street home, Simon posing with cops along the way - hmmm remind me of anyone!