Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sorrento to Positano Hike for Pizza

Day one on the farm:

Monet had signed the crew up for a cooking class at 4pm in Positano.  It was supposed to be only 7 km from the farm, over the hill to Positano; a straight shot down the Amalfi Coast (which isn't that straight). Because of severe headwinds and icy roads, we decided to walk it and take a taxi or bus back. This would not only get us to our cooking class, but allow us to scout out the first leg of the Amalfi Coast and see how treacherous the cycling would be.  We planned to bike towards Salerno after New Years.  Below is a map and some views from our walk (notice the awesome views, the less-than-awesome shoulder and the epic drop-offs).

Positano seems so close, yet so far. . . See it in the distance?

The walk took longer than anticipated, of course.  Just getting over the hill added another 2 km.  And then we had to add another 2 km waking through Positano.  It seemed impossible for us to stay on schedule. Monet called the cooking class and told them we would be a little late. The sun was starting to set and water demons were rising out of the sea.

Unfortunately, we were rushing through town so fast, we didn't get any good photos of Positano.  The town is very touristy but beautiful, built into the cliffs.  Our cooking class was also very touristy, but fun and we got to eat everything we made.

  At the end of the class, we took the bus back to Sorrento, but got off at the wrong stop and walked some more in the cold before calling Peppino to come save us again (gah!).

Day two on the farm:

It snowed, so we weren't too excited to leave the farm.  That said, Mark decided he needed to find a bike shop.  He wanted another spare inner tube and a better patch kit.  He also wanted a completely new tire, but only if it was cheap.  Why spend more money on a rental?

Here was the technical issue according to Mark (feel free to skip this part): "My back tire was worn and a thin metal wire was deeply embedded in the treads.  I didn't have good tools and I couldn't remove it without destroying the tire, so I filed it down with the lame thumb file you get in patch kits and put tape over it, hoping it wouldn't pop another tube. Oh, and not only that, the tire was now slightly out of true and I didn't have a spoke wrench, so I was forced to severely loosen the brakes.  Fun!"

So on the day it snowed, after spending a few hours patching the tire with mostly dried-out rubber cement and tweaking the brakes so they worked sort-of-okay, Mark left the crew at the farm and cycled into town. Unfortunately, it was New Years Eve and most of the businesses in Sorrento were closed.  By the time Mark reached the one bike shop (in Piano di Sorrento) that was supposed to be open, it was repose and the shop had just closed. "Repose" is the Italian version of a siesta, lasting from 1 to 4 pm (or sometimes 1 to 5 pm. . . or 1 to 6 pm. . . or 1 to 7 pm. . . etc.) and it's the bane of all tourists who want to get something done in the afternoon.

"Repose!  Curse the repose!"  Mark shakes fist.

Monet's Mileage Count:

  • Hike Sorrento to Positano 9 miles 
  • Bus positano to sorrento 9 miles (got off at wrong stop, Peppino saves day)

Travel Tip:

Beware of the repose. . . 

Next: Biking on the Amalfi in 2015

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