Today we’re on a boat, just 12 of us, down the coast to Amalfi then along lunch at Portofino, then back to Sorrento. We are leaving at 8:45am by a bus down the crazy Sorrento ravine to the docks.
I decide to try a coffee at the next door bar with Il Banditore. The coffee is very very good, strong, smooth and flavour, just like a very good Australian coffee. It cost €2, very reasonable. I also buy my beers from here, Peroni stubbies are €2 each, no need to buy bigger packs that I have to carry back to the villa.
The bus is on time, the weather is fine, the sky is blue, it’s going to be warm, we get to the dock and there is a lot of people waiting for boats of different varieties. Our boat is about a 30 foot, seats at the back and an area at the front, Andreas is our driver, I’d say age is probably 40’s, has the swarthy sea dog look about him, an ear ring like a pirate, and a smile.
The sea is a bit choppy, luckily The Navigator has taken a Travel Calm tablet. We head south west following the Sorrentine Peninsular around to the Amalfi coast. It’s quite a distance but the boat ride is relaxing, the breeze off the Medditeranean is like an air conditioner set on exactly the right temperature. The water is a dark inky blue, and clear. The granite cliffs run down to the water with the occassional village on a small beach and no evidence of a way to get to them other than by sea. Occasionally we can see a road around the cliffs, I’m assuming this is the famous access road to the Amalfi coast, used in many movies over the years. We pass Portofino on the left ( sorry, Port side), Where we are long lunching later on.
First stop is the village, probably a town really, of Amalfi. It’s crawling with tourists, I hear American, English, Italian and eastern European being spoken, it’s quite warm. The two hours we have starts with a coffee and lemon cake, just outside the cafe a traffic cop with a gun directs the scooters, buses, cars, trucks and people, arms waving, whistle blowing trying to get some semblance of order with the crazy traffic at his corner.
A walk up the hill via the main street which is all touristy shops selling lemincino, Amalfi t shirts, ceramic shops with lemons painted in the glaze, cafes, a huge church sits near the bottom of the street.
We all gather at the dock at the rendezvous spot at the right time, military precision.
It’s hot in Portofino, we find that our lunch appointment time has been delayed and instead of 1:30 it’s now at 2:30, not sure what happened there. The wait time is killed by looking and walking up the steep streets but too steep for me, and too hot so I/we sit like homeless people on the steps to kill time.
When we get to the table, we have a fantastic view over the sea, the food is very good. I had a caprese salad and sea bass fillet in lemon sauce ( delicious), The Navigator had arrancini and veal chop with mushrooms for a main. Amazingly nothing is left on her plate, except a small bit of meat on the bone which Ciclista Dismountus tidies up for her.
We are later than expectedback to the boat, Andreas bungs on a bit of an Italian hissy fit, hands waving, leaning down into L’agentes face. He says the biss has gone broke, last day this boat gies out, he works eith hours not twrnty hours a day…… on on on and f….g on. Not sure whether this is a ploy to secure a decent tip or real. Anyhow, he calms, we head back towards Sorrento hugging the cliffs stop for a couple of swims( only 4 swimmers) and we get back into Sorrento at about 7:30pm, it just getting dark. We take the €1.29 elevator to the top of the cliff to avoid walking the ravine back to town.
A cup of tea and a snack and everyone retires. It’s been a long wonderful day eating and on the water.
Ciao from Sorrento – Pauolo