CRT+RPK=RTW – Greece 14

if you missed the little blog yesterday, go back one page and then continue on to this one…

CRT coming at you as RPK is laying down with a sore tailbone…

Yesterday I tried to come back and finish but these computers are so slow i lost my patience and came back this morning…

Ah Ischia and our little hotel on the hill called Poggio del Sole with our charming host Mr. Guiseppe who actually liked Americans and was just about the coolest hotel keeper ever. Ischia is a teeny little Island that often gets overlooked or passed on your way to Capri (where the pants come from?) we skipped Capri and chose Ishia because it sounded a little quieter and more our speed. It was amazing. There are forests and cliffs and beaches, gentle waves and great food and wine. AS I mentioned, The Poggio del Sole made their own wine and olive oil and both were fantastic and cheap. SOme of the best bargains we’ve found have also been the best quality. Funny that way… SO I could go on and on about Ischia but just know that it was so fabulous. The only draw back was that we were had to hike up a steep hill for about 1 mile everytime we came home to the hotel. And that is hard to do with a belly full of pasta, bread cheese, wine, ice cream and homemade olive oil. On our last morning, Guiseppe insisted that he give us a lift down to the ferry. He was so nice and OF COURSE we forgot to give him the key to our room. Its not one of those reprogrammable cards either…its like a skeleton key. We have to find a way to send it to him I guess…

We hopped a ferry from Ischia back to Naples and went right for the train station as Naples was such a let down from our gorgeous Island. SO keep counting the different ways we traveled on this particular day… it’s fun. We started out in Guiseppe’s truck/van thing, then got on a boat, then took a trolley to the train station where the woman behind the counter just waved her hand and said “nah” when we asked her how we could get to Brindisi… nah apparently means there is a train that leaves from Naples but its fully booked. Fine! We didn’t need her help anyway… we decided to go in the direction of Brindisi which is where we had a vague idea that a ferry would leave from there to take us to Corfu or Patras. At the next stop we got off and the kind man behind the counter booked us on a train to Brindisi. Easy enough. The train ride was about 3 hours. So now add 2 trains to your list of vehicles traveled in. The ride was nice enough, screaming kids, loud english speaking tourists and my TERRIBLE BOOK. Some of you may have read it and will disagree but I just finished a book called the Dante Club and it is horrendous. The dialogue is rotten. Sad too because its a great idea for a story… but of course i cant just stop reading it so the three hours on the train allowed me to get that much further in the cursed thing. We hadn’t booked a ferry and have heard lots of scary things about the lack of ferry schedules to greece. We knew we were pressing our luck by just showing up but as we are charmed and things just kind of work out “jump and the net will appear” we arrived in Brindisi at 7:10 pm and there was a ferry to corfu leaving at 9.

Who could have known that a trip around the world would include time travel as well. We boarded the Ferry in Brindisi in 2006 but as soon as we got onboard it suddenly and without warning turned the clock back to 1973. The carpet was orange and dizzingly patterened, there were mirrors on the walls, ceilings and chandeliers and the uniforms of the staff were a pale hospital blue. Our sleeping compartment was covered in brown scratchy carpet, floor, walls, ceiling, which made Ryan crazy as he has a WICKED sunburn and anytime he bumped into anything he wanted to cry. The food as well was something. Since we’d been traveling all day we hadn’t stopped to eat and were famished. Ryan ordered a hamburger from the buffet line and got a patty covered with LARD and some fries, I had stuff. There are no words to describe the brick that I ingested so let it be known as the Stuff. It was the worst thing we’ve eaten and it didnt help our seasick bellies at all. Up on the poop deck (that is what its called…maybe i just like saying ‘poop deck’ there were a group of kids playing instruments and dancing. That was a little more than we could handle so we turned in for a night on the sea. Ryan couldn’t sleep past 4 in the AM beacuse of his sunburn which had been made worse by lugging his back pack all day and so he wandered up and took in the dawn. I slept like a baby (I think it might have been the only good thing about the Stuff) and woke up to find myself in Corfu.

When we got to the port in Corfu there was a woman there holding a sign for a hostel we’d heard of and directed us to a bus. We didnt feel like figuring anything out on our own so we hopped on and let the bus take us to the legendary Pink Palace. Its pretty neat. Unlike the disapointing Grand Hotel Magenta in Paris, this place is both pink and palatial. its huge, with a capacity for about 1000 guests. And by guests I mean party-hardy American and Canadian students. Its super cheap at 25 per person per night for a private room, bath, breakfast and dinner included, pool, private beach, 24 hour bar, cheap activites and on and on. We are by far the oldest people here and are enjoying our status as the “newlyweds.” Our first afternoon here they were running something called the “booze cruise”. Curiosity propelled us on board where we were taken cliff jumping, where Ryan smack his butt really hard on the water after jumping off a 30 foot cliff into the sea. I jumped too but recovered quickly. Im tough. Then we went snorkeling and cave exploring and hiked into an abandoned monastery. The boozing (and apparently clothing)was optional and it was a rowdy day but a glorious way to see the island, which has the clearest water I’ve ever seen, breathtaking cliffs and rock arches jutting up out of the water just off shore. Simply beautiful. We had only planned on one night but extended our stay as its likely to be the cheapest greek isle we’ll find and getting to the others is a little out of our time budget. Yesterday we went on a quad (4-wheeler) safari and saw the land part of the island. Up and down mountains, on and off roading, a 6 hour trip and we came home tired and covered in dirt. SO much fun. These kids know how to have a good time. We talked to one guy at breakfast who said he’s been drunk for 80 hours and hasn’t slept. I don’t know whether to be impressed or call his mother directly. This place is a lot of fun if you can put up with the 24 hour frat party. we have our own room and a balcony overlooking the whole beach so we can just go up to our room and watch it all from afar. That suits two old farts like us just fine. Although tonight there is a Greek Elvis impersonator coming so we might have to hang out with the kids long enough to see that. Today, we’re beat from the cruising and safari-ing and so we’re going to let Ryan’s backside recover on a lounge chair on the beach. We might go kayaking or we might just lay there in the sun, taking dips in the crystal clear water when it gets too hot on the sand. Oh, It’s a wonderful life!

Miss you all so much and wish you were here with us.
Posted from Greece:

posted Wednesday June 2006