Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

The day after Pompeii we lazed around all morning, eventually heading back to Positano late afternoon. This time we parked up and wandered the streets that are inaccessible to vehicles – windy, slippery, stepped and full of stalls selling mostly jewellery. We made it down to the beach in our hunt for decent priced food, and spotted L’Alternativa, the small stall that sells Albertissimo, a supposedly amazing alcoholic drink that can only be purchased here. I don’t see the big deal. We paid 4 Euro and got a cup of Granite di Limon (lemon slushy made from real lemons, I’m addicted) with something red and something clear quickly splashed in. It tasted good, sure, but there was nothing special about it so if you have read that it’s a must do, like I did, it’s not. It’s average.

We clambered back up the hill to an eatery we had seen on the way down and sat dripping sweat in their garden terrace. With a view over their own orchard and down into the valley there was no better place to cool down for a bit. We had calzone and followed it up with desserts from their quintessentially Italian, homemade selection. We had a Rhum Baba with cream, the lightest, spongiest thing you’ve ever tasted with a runny sauce that soaked through it and onto the plate. We also tried a Crème Limon Sponge which was again insanely light but this time filled and covered with mild lemon crème, which looked and tasted kind of like meringue and whipped crème has a love child.

Well fed and happy, we made our way back down to the beach to give Courtney’s new snorkel another wetting. As with most Amalfi Coast beaches, boats come in close to shore and so there is a swimming area roped off for safety. The beach was pebbled and we lay out our towel, bag and helmets. At almost 5pm the beach was still full but people were slowly drifting away. For the first time in our trip, the person we asked to mind our things said no. She didn’t go anywhere, I guess she just didn’t want the responsibility.

We both went into the water anyway and kept a vague eye on them from there. The water was warm and slowly deepened until a steep drop made it,at Courtney’s underwater guess, 3 times my height. You could still see the bottom, which darkened with seaweed the deeper you got, so it was easy to see when it was time to swim rather than have your feet drop out from under you like they would with low visibility. I had a go with the snorkel first and discovered heaps of small silver fish swimming around us. Despite being able to see the bottom, the fish were almost clear and we couldn’t see them at all from above water. They were very tame and swam right up to our fingers, following us round as we swam  further out.

A kid on the beach had been showing off a starfish so we hunted for those to no avail but did see a few other kinds of fish. Despite making Courtney swim near me the whole time just in case I needed to stop, my new found confidence in my (still techniqueless) swimming skills kept me going on my own for ages. I have discovered that I get a twinge in my left arm sometimes when I’m using it to swim so when that started happening and there were no new fish around, I gave up and went back to shore and left Courts snorkeling as the water emptied of locals. The heat of the pebbles on the beach soaked through the towel and I could easily have fallen asleep but when Courts eventually made it out of the water around 6.30pm, we headed up to the bike and went home for packet Risotto, which is surprisingly tasty.

We are getting lazier and lazier. Not long till Rome now though so we had better switch it up soon!