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Chasing the Wind A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu

We Are Friends of Antonio

ITALY | Tuesday, 21 October 2008 | Views [559] | Comments [3]

Where do I begin.

God has been amazing to us.  No words could describe how blessed the three of us feel right now.  We are camping at the top of a mountain that overlooks the Amalfi Coast...but I am getting ahead of myself.  I will try to keep it short...but no promises.

Naples was better than I expected it to be (other than the pizza and Pompeii, I had not super high expectations).  We made friends with a mother-son duo, so the son was nice enough to be our bodyguard our last night in Naples. In result, we were able to venture along the waterline to observe the pretty lights and castles and restaurants in the nice part of town. 

But let me tell you the best part of our trip thus far...Let me start with the train ride from Naples to Amalfi.  We take a train from Naples on Sunday to the Amfali Coast.  But it is superexpensive, as I said before, so we were actually heading to Agerola.  This is a not-so-touristy part of town, so they are not so much with the English as we were not so much with the Itallian.  Apparently English and Spanish were only helpful in Rome and Naples and I imagine any other really touristy areas. 

We step off the train, and a little old lady starts speaking with us in Italian,  because clearly, we are confused, seemingly stranded with all our worldly property strapped to our backs.  And we were speaking in our broken English-Spanish-Kinda-Italian, but mostly in gestures.  Another lady walks up, who we learn later is named Carla, who starts speaking with the old lady.  Long story short, after a while, we understand Carla wants to drive us up to Pimonte where she lives, a city before Agerola where we are going.  Mind you, this is up a mountain.  We get in because she is a nice lady who is with her mother and it appears they were just in town for some shopping.  All the while we are ecstatic that God has taken care of us and we are getting a free ride.  We stop at a fancy hotel, where her son, Antonio, steps out.  He thankfully speaks English and him and his mom talk and he takes us the rest of the way up to our site.

We get to our site and we get set up.  It was a perfect day.  The tent is sturdy.  We are a bunch of tough girls.  We have lunch overlooking the Mediterranean (ya, living the hard life...), then do this 2000+ step walk down to the coast.  That is a lot of steps and I think I will dream of them for a while.  It takes an hour and a half to the bottom.  We meet this man, Pascuale, who just is superfriendly, standing outside his restaurant.  He invites us in and proceeds to force feed us (haha, ala Phoebe) tiramisu and sponge cake and lemoncello, some lemon liquer.  Mind you, this is after we are already full from lunch, PLUS we have to walk up a gazillion steps back UP the mountain.  MOUNTAIN.  We are just laughing and loving our way through life with how NICE everyone is in this town, and decide we would like to live here.  We each had three shots of the liquer, then start back up.  He even came back out to give us a full bottle, which we left on the table because...just no. Ooooh,those three were bad enough.  My stomach was feeling funny the whole way up, BUT the awesome thing is we all made it in the same amount of time it took to come down (albeit on the way down we took many stops to just look at the beauty of the coast below us...I mean, how awesome is God to create such things???)

That night, we sleep in our three-to-a-tent.  Antonio, who drove us to the hotel and who also arranges tours, had mentioned to call him if we were interested in joining a Dutch group the next morning to the Island of Capri, again free of charge as far as transportation there.  Um, yes please.  We call him, and he knows we are coming.

We catch the bus at an ungodly hour of 6:25 (up at 5:45), but as we make stops down the mountain, people commuting to the city  below to Castellamare are filling up the bus.  We are in the back of the bus with this crowd in front of us and we cannot get out with any ease.  We miss our stop, miss the next, and then the next.  We are slowly making it down the mountain, all the while our group was to meet at 6:50.  We finally get out and are speed-walking back up the mountain, flagging everyone and anyone who might stop to give us a ride.  We see our tour bus pass us up the mountain.  A few minutes later, we finally get this cute little old man to stop and he is so gracious to give us a ride, and as God would time it, just at the moment as I am getting into the car, the tour bus is driving back down, sees the three of us in the middle of the road about to get in the car clearly going the other way, and he driver is waving for us to get into the bus.  We run to the bus, get on, and to an enthusiastic group of Dutch people, are greeted with good mornings and chuckling at us, because we are definitely those American tourists that missed the tour bus.

It was a beautiful day in Capri.  We took a ferry from the mainland there (we finally figured out what Deck Fare was, and it is exactly like plane seating, so its all good) and met Lucio, Antonios connection that was leading the Dutch group.  He gave us all the recommendations, as we were not going to do the tour with the group, as to where to go and what to do for economico (which is "cheap" in Italian, the only word I bothered to learn).  At first, we tried to blend in with the Dutch, but Lucio walks right up to us and says, "Oh, you are Antonios friends!"...because I guess we just stick out that way...lol.  But we are honored to be called Antonios friends.

We did the boat that tours around the entire island, stopping inside the Blue Grotto.  It is a cave where the sun reflects its light in such a way that makes the cave inside blue.  The guys rowing the boats were singing inside, making these cool echos, and it sounded heavenly.

We came back with the Dutch group, went inside the hotel to thank Antonio and hoping to see Carla again, our two angels.  We are invited to sit for some cafe with them.  Carla was asking about us to make sure we got onto the bus in time...the story of chasing it down got around aparently...hahaha.  We definitely have a family on the Amalfi Coast.  We promised they could come to California anytime and we would drive them around and they could stay in our homes. 

Tonight we are going to Sorrento with Antonio and possibly his sister.  They are a lovely family, and everything about this place including the people is a great breath of fresh air, differently from Rome and Naples, those being big tourist cities.

Ciao for now.



Lar - God is truly good; looking out for you and your friends out of the corner of his eye! I have been praying for you and your friends since before your trip and will keep you firmly in them until you are safe state side! Your trip sounds more than amazing. I can’t tell you how wonderful everything sounds and can’t wait to see your pictures. I miss you but feel like I am right by your side chasing buses and eating pizza. However, I am not rock climbing...I will be your friend left in Italy after you were promptly kicked out for knocking over a national monument! =) I miss and love you.
In his love & light,

  Gina Montecastro Oct 22, 2008 7:48 AM


Wow and Hallelujah!

  Chris McCann Oct 22, 2008 4:49 PM


This entry made me cry - I'm so overwhelmed by God's provision sometimes... well, I'm always overwhelmed by His provision when I bother to slow down and think about it... but it's stories like these that bring me to tears in gratitude for the great and wonderful God and Father we have!

The other night a friend of mine, who is an Atheist, said something to the affect of, "If there was a God who was so real that you could call down fire on someone, ya know, like when you said 'damn you' the person actually would be struck right then... now that's a God I could believe in." He doesn't see God working and being "real"... but that's only because he doesn't open his eyes to look...

  "Sister" Oct 28, 2008 3:58 AM

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