Monday, March 13, 2017

Pompei and Away!










































What’s the day and date??

Dear Family & Friends,

Been without internet for a few days so let me get you caught up……
A couple of days ago we were staying on the south side of the Amalfi Coast in t small town of Maori. It was a quiet and enjoyable time right on the coast.
Our next stop was Sorrento. We got off to an early start so we could stop off in the town of Amalfi. It was a short ride, only about 15 minutes away and the sky was a bit grey but not bad.
We spent the morning exploring Amalfi, which is quaint and just one big tourist trap. Lots of stores and restaurants. It was fun but after a while we were ready to ride the Amalfi coast again.. Unfortunately as we were about the leave the sky opened up and it started raining heavily.
We put on all our rain gear which can actually keep you quite dry and warm and took off. The road to Sorrento goes right along the coast for about an hour and then crosses the peninsula to the north side. The road on the south side is insanely narrow and twisty. It makes Hwy 1 in California look like a freeway. Add to it LOTS of traffic including big tour buses and then of course rain.. Riding in the rain is not bad if you just take your time but what was a bit unnerving was the cobble stones when wet were extremely slippery and when I had to stop (which was often due to traffic) and put a foot down for balance it always felt like it wanted to slip out from under me.
Whenever the big tour buses are in the on coming lane you have to stop and pull over as far as you can to let them by. Most of the time they would clear our motorcycles by mere inches.  Duane fell behind a bit and at one point there were several buses passing us. As I was about to take off a man in a car behind me jumped out of his car and flagged me down and in broken English told us Duane had crashed!  OF course I was very worried and started to turn around (not easy) when Duane suddenly appeared. What had happened was as the bus passed him it hit his saddle bags and knocked him over. Luckily there was a stone wall right there so he couldn't go far and was able to right the bike up by himself. This has been his third “incident” on this trip. I am beginning to see a pattern here.
We continued on for another 20 minutes and once we passed Positano traffic started to clear a bit to where we could relax and make up some time. Suddenly the road cut north away from the coast and zig zagged up the side of a mountain and we quickly crossed over the mountains that divide the Amalfi peninsula. As we dropped down into Sorrento (where we would end up for a couple of days) the weather started to clear and our spirits greatly improved. When we arrived at the hotel we all gave each other a high five for surviving that ride. I told Kim she earned her masters degree in motorcycling today!
The hotel we are staying at in Sorrento is a nice family owned hotel a block for the water and walking distance to downtown Sorrento.
Our first full day in Sorrento we walked to the city center and did our obligatory shopping. I am gathering up a world class collection of refrigerator magnets and my motorcycle is slowly disappearing under the multitude of stickers from all the places I have ridden to.
After an afternoon of shopping, lunch, and wine it was time for our afternoon naps…..
That gets you caught up to today. Today we took a tour boat out to the island of Capri. I didn't know what to expect but I had heard of it and it sounded good. Capri is another one of these tax free micro countries. An island less than 30 kilometers long. It is famous for its "Blue Gratto" .
When we arrived the seas were very rough so the tour boat couldn't go near the shores to show us the grottos and we went straight to town. After about half an hour of walking around and just seeing junky tourist stores we wondered if this had been a good decision. We had 6 hours here and what do you do? Then someone suggest we go to the top of the island so we grabbed a cab and went up a very narrow road to the top. By the way the cabs are very unique. They are made by Fiat, have four doors with reverse facing seats in the back, have convertible tops and are ONLY sold and used on the island of Capri.
Once we got to the top things started to look better. There was an old town square with a church and restaurants. I decided to start walking around on my own and do some exploring. There are no conventional streets just narrow alleys. What I love about old European cities is that they are still fully functional cities with doctors and lawyers and stores of every kind, all in miniature. The further I walked to the fancier it got until suddenly I was on this walkway which was the Rodeo Drive of Capri. Extremely high end stores, amazingly beautiful hotels, and very fancy restaurants. It was fun to see but way to expensive to buy anything there, even tax free.
I did walk by one restaurant that had posted photos of all the celebrities that had eaten there. Most of the photos I didn't recognize, I’m guessing they are European celebrities, but there were two American faces I knew…… Dr. Oz and Jerry Springer.! I wonder if the restaurant owner knew who these bozos were??
We took an old funicular down the side of the mountain. (that is a cogged trolley) Kim and Duane looked a bit concerned but I assured them that occasionally these old contraptions break down and don't make it to the top, but they ALWAYS make it to the bottom, one way or the other.
We then had a couple of drinks by the ocean and sat out on lawn chairs and took a nap in the warm afternoon sun. (It had been raining that morning). 
Around 4pm we boarded the water taxi for the ride back to main land. By late afternoon the swells were a good ten feet high and our small boat was being tossed around like a toy. By the time we returned I was soaked from head to toe but the ocean spray, but felt good.
Tonight I am packing up Tomorrow we head to Pompie to see more site and then further north.
That’s all for now. Go to my blog for lots of photos of Sorrento and Capri.
Jason
The church of Amalfi..



Bringing some home culture to Amalfi.