Monday, October 10, 2016

Ciao from Amalfi!

Oct. 10th ??

Dear Family & Friends,

Yesterday we were in Cassino, Italy. We got up and prepared for a wet ride south to the Amalfi Coast… It was about a two hour ride with rain and thunder storms predicted. The ride was ably lead by Duane and we did run into about a two minute deluge but for the most part it was intermittent clouds and rather warm, which was nice.
We arrived on the Amalfi Coast and had about a 30 minute ride to the town we are staying at, Mairori. The road is beautiful and amazing. Tight and twisty like Hwy 1 near Big Sur back home, but with amazing Italian villages, harbors, and villas. There is always a fair amount of traffic so it was slow going but a slow ride really allows you to look around and enjoy the sites.
When we arrived at our hotel we walked down to the beach and enjoyed a Spritz and relaxed.
After a good afternoon nap we ventured out to town for a terrific dinner. I had one of the best clam linguini's ever.. Along with some delicious Italian wine. Duane had us and the restaurant patrons in stitches with some impressions he was doing, good fun. You can ask him about it. I am sure without the wine he would have never done it….
We walked along the beach front at night and the views were magical. All the towns along the Amalfi Coast are built into rugged cliffs and mountains and they are dotted with homes, villas, hotels, and other buildings. At night when they light up it looks like your looking into the Milky Way in space.. stars at night.
The next morning Duane and Kim decided to do laundry. I have learned along this trip that I can do a decent job of washing my clothes with some laundry soap and the bidet in my hotel room.,,, enough said on that subject.. So I decided to take of on my own and ride up the coast to the town of Amalfi, which was supposed to be about 15 minutes away.. After 45 minutes of riding and signs announcing towns way past Amalfi I knew I missed it, but no problem there is always lots to see. I stopped at a town called Positano.. Turned out to be very nice! Getting there was a challenge. It is built along steep cliffs in a cove. There was only one road going in ( one way) and one road going out (one way). The road was very steep, twisty and a bit wet from the intermittent showers but I arrived safely..
I walked around a bit, took some photos, looked in the many art galleries there, and enjoyed a relaxing cafe latte. 
From there I rode back and finally found Amalfi. It was beautiful too. There is a nice town square where I enjoyed a nice pasta lunch and listed to classical Italian street singers.. Totally enjoyable.
One thing I have learned on this trip is that Italian scooter riders and Italian tour bus drivers are AMAZINGLY skilled!! The tour buses are huge and must navigate very narrow and twisty roads. There were many times I had to pull to the very side of the road to let the bus pass ,and the bus still missed the boxes on the side of my motorcycle by mere inches.. They seemed to take it in stride and were quite used to it.
The scooter riders are in a class by themselves. They dart in and out of traffic with complete abandon. Some of the passes they made on blind curves were so scary I would just close my eyes and hope they made it. I am a reasonably competent motorcycle rider and in traffic there is no way I could keep up with them. At one point the traffic eased and I did get into a bit of a race with one scooter rider. I was tired of being passed by them. I was able to stay ahead  of him and loose him on the straights due to the power of my bike but it was a challenge. Also not all these scooter riders are young people, I saw men and women  almost old enough to be my parents riding with the same aggression. I guess they have ridden them their entire lives and know how to handle them.
Tomorrow it is off to Sorento.

PS: I have taken several riding video but due to the slow internet service here I couldn't up load them. A few days ago I did up load a video of us riding along Lake Como so if you want to see it click on this link:

Ready to ride from Cassino to the Amalfi Coast..

Celebrating the arrival to our first stop along the Amalfi Coast, Maiori.

The King of Cool

How else to you celebrate an arrival?? Spritz time. :)

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