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Ciao Positano, I'm big city bound.

ITALY | Tuesday, 5 July 2011 | Views [604]

I arrived only hours ago in Rome after a great drive from the lovely Positano. The last few days have been the dream of all backpackers. Arrive in a small but beautiful town, snug against spectacular cliffs bordered by small beaches, where you find yourself amongst friends at an awesome hostel. Hostel Brikette was a breath of fresh air to stay at, well situated in Positano, high enough for a view, and everything accessible by thousands of stairs. Ok so the stairs were the hardest part of the last few days actually. A day at the beach is somehow not as relaxing as you’d imagine when you melt in the sun then have to climb for an hour, up some 1000 steep steps.

The first day I accompanied some friendly Americans to the small Lido down only 866 steps, this one is preferable to sit at for a day and swim in the buoyed off areas in the warm water apparently. I walked around the coast to the main beach, glanced in the identical tourist trap shops and bought a delicious fresh lunch of tasty mozzarella and salami with tomatoes in a thick focaccia bun. I had been woken around 5am in Sorrento so I made my way by local bus back to the hostel for a three-hour siesta.

That evening, with an awesome ausie couple Ryleigh and Simon, Byron and Tiffany; sweethearts from Canada (who I’d met in Pompeii), and many others of mixed nationalities, so many smiles and continuous chatter flowed from the idyllic balcony of Brikette. We missioned to an incredible fireworks display in the town above us, it was for a local religious festival about the virgin defeating the devil, magnificent! The walk back was not so much, lost among stairways and lanes, hugging the roadside and laughing about our complaining.

Day two and I woke very merry around 10am, It was beach day, and as I mentioned earlier, the sun and steps resulted in an exhausted me, enjoying cold beers in the evening, again surrounded by some of the most friendly travelers, and another delicious pizza for dinner. I also was convinced to stay another night, ahhhh the joys of getting stuck somewhere and knowing the only reason is due to extreme contentment.

Day three and I tag along with 7 others to a small town around the coast and up in the mountains called Ravello. We ferried to Amalfi, as the stupid inter-town buses were once again striking, yes Italian bus drivers must get infinite joy in disrupting thousands of travelers plans each day when on their sporadic, frequent and ultimately ineffectual strikes. On a tour bus we manage to arrive in the afternoon and use our few hours to wander the lanes and snap pics of old famous Villas around town. After much gelato and sun, we had the surprise of bumping into friends from the hostel who had left to Capri. Casey (Texas darling) and I caught a ride back with Vanessa and Andy (LA superstars) to Positano, our mini road trip back around the coast was great.

So with all these cool Americans we gather the crew for a strange but fun Fourth of July celebration. Aussies and Canadians, one Kiwi (me), and hoards of yanks shared pasta salad and hotdogs, with Italian wine of course. Convinced to go to the one and only nightclub in Positano, we danced to terrible pop from, you guessed it, America, then relaxed in the cool night air on beach chairs at the beach right outside. Bliss.

The walk back was not so. Followed by some Napoli guys and confronted with being locked out and basically taunted by these dangerous fellows, we three girls were frightened and troubled by the dangers of being female travelers. Lesson; always shell out for the deposit on a key to the hostel.

Today I was ready to leave Positano, the magic shattered and the occasional stench of sewer in the streets, my aching legs and the rain, yes that’s right it rains in Italy apparently, aiding in my acceptance to leave the cute place where so many good friends were made. So with new adds on facebook and emails and hugs, off we drove, me in the back of Vanessa and Andy’s rented car, all the way to the big city. Just driving through and seeing the ancient ruins throughout the place made me sure I would enjoy my stay. Without free WiFi though I ended up accepting the fact that this place is out of my budget. What to do? Splurge on a sim card and for now pay for WiFi and contact couch surfers around Rome and nearby places I would love to get to!

On the cards: I will meet up with some friendly locals, (which my attempt to this evening was unsuccessful due to the multiple McDonalds in the same vicinity –note: McDs is not an ideal meeting place when there are four in a two block radius). I also have set my heart on meeting up with a good friend from NZ somewhere, and am hoping this will be in Perugia, where a Jazz festival is happening this weekend. Floor surfing at a local couch surfing hosts place sounds great, and a renowned international jazz festival thrown in? Yes please. Rome will still be here next week!



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