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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Thursday, September 27, 2012

While we were waiting to disembark I found a KTM rider who lived in Bari (our arrival port) and asked him to help Adam find a mechanic to get the carburetor fixed and we found out later that this poor guy took him to 7 different shops (everyone is on holiday here) but finally found one person to help him. 

Our first stop in Italy was Castel Del Monte (and en-route some ladies of the night, well morning, lounging in recliners on the side of the road) 

 Dan got to find out if his new tire patch kit worked.

A small village stop off in the central part of Italy for lunch where coke cans are thin and sexy.

Found this cool memorial to a group of soldiers from the second world war on their way home when their plane crashed nearby.

The Amalfi Coast

We arrived at the crowded coast just before sunset and wound our way around cliff after cliff with sweeping epic views that just arrested the heart in my chest.

We also have developed code words for different things already....the Italian mopeds that buzz about us like hoards of angry bees are Kamakazi's.  

 Rode back inland and had to stop to enjoy this exquisite sunset

Dan arranged for a very special treat for me, a night at a military base near the Napoli airport. We checked into a very nice room, ate good pizza and had shots bought for us by some military guys getting drunk in the bar. Best of all, washing machines. Wait, not just the tiny European washing machines that have 2 hour cycles but big U.S. 30 minute washing machines and DRYERS!

My bed that night.

Dan and Daniel found their clothes clean and folded the next morning. I took a good scrub in a perfect bathroom (that included a toilet seat, I think Italians have something against toilet seats here). The next morning we experienced some city stop and go frustration trying to get to Pompeii and the bikes weren't too happy with the heat, Dan kept saying his bike was one chicklet from being too hot. 

We got to Pompeii and found a long line in the hot sun to which I gave an Italian looking hand signal along the lines of 'no way'.

These are lemons!

We suited back up and headed North to our first stop, MonteCassino abbey. ( I meant to get that building corner into my shot)

I like this shot the most with the 3 crosses

Nice photo of the boys without the hoards of tourists

Stopped for a Donar Kebab and watched a guy get swindled out of an iphone. I was busy wolfing down my food like a wild cat (he he) but Dan and Danny....who BTW is a most excellent, safe and competent rider for 19. Truly, he rides just like his Father and after just a day, any concerns I had around riding with a young 'hot-head' were erased. (although right now as I type this, his stinky socked feet are up on the seat next to me on the ferry to Sardenia are making me gag).

Anyhoo, Danny was smart enough to write down the license plate of the thief and when the pigeon realized he's been robbed, handed it to him. Dan and Danny both felt torn about whether to get involved. I found it very considerate that Dan asked my opinion before getting in the middle of that mess, I said that I didn't have a dog in that fight. It's a tough choice sometimes, we are here on vacation, as foreigners, and just don't know what might come of getting in the middle of a bad situation like that even though it's the "right thing to do".

We did the tour of the Abbey which is still used and has active worship and then took a great twisty road to Arpino but not before a traffic control cop flagged us to stop and after a few tense words just wanted to see our papers....we are riding the speed limit and usually a little under while crazy Italians (usually in Audi's, we find Audi drivers are the worst) wail by us like we are sitting still. Italy is in general very tourist 'unfriendly'. 

Stopped at a gas station where I found this life size stuffed bear.

A light rain coming

The town of Aprino.

Would have loved this for lunch

Even the campsite check in lady was about as friendly as a block of ice and helpful as a nail in a tire, nor could she count. We stood there in the dark in full gear sweating while she tried to get the numbers right; we said, 3 bikes, 3 people, 2 which she said something like 2 bikes, 3 people 3 tents and then another combination of 1 bike, 3 people, 2 tents....we spent the rest of the evening coming up with playful variations. 6 people, 1 bike, 3 tents and on and on. 

Danny had some fun with me and my tent that night

 I asked about getting a taxi to town to eat and it cost the tourist price of 7 euro....that's ok. Had an excellent pasta carbonara but I was bummed they didn't put the raw egg yolk on top and after that wandered around the town at night and took some excellent photos.

A gelato. The first of many to come.

Charming town with an old castle at the top

One of my favorite shots of the trip

Walked back down a steep, loose dirt, dark road to the campsite and passed out at our usual midnight hour.

Woke up the next morning to walk around and see the lake. Did some twisties to a port town that was a terrible place (usally they are, dirty, expensive, small) and boarded our second ferry. It was quite comfortable though and we tried to nap and relax but all would have rather been riding. (If only snokels were longer). Arrived near dusk in Sardenia and rode to Camping Acapulco on the water. When we rode in through the camping, there was a restaurant packed with locals all drinking and laughing loudly and picked a patch of dirt near a buzzing transformer and a natural gas outlet. 


Pitched camp again at 10pm and went into the restaurant. There was another couple trying to get the attention of the waiter as we were but I was armed with French and our meal came out much faster. I enjoyed a Spaghetti Bolognese and promptly fell asleep. 
The next morning I found this wonderful little beach right below us and enjoyed some excellent breakfast treats in this cafe on the campground.

Succumbed to the usual temptation of flakey, buttery croissants while the boys ate their oatmeal.

Oh OH! and I saw a shiny new Tiger 800 XC like mine!