Amalfi Coast Trip – Day Three Summary (Arola to Sant’Agata)

The third day of walking on our Amalfi expedition was set to be slightly more leisurely than the previous day. Bev, Steve and I were rested after our exertions, whereas Gordon was still stuck up the road in some farmhouse in a location that even he can’t recall. If he had been kidnapped and held ransom no-one would ever have found him even if Gordon had access to a phone to tell people where he thought he was.

Our accommodation came with a free breakfast at a nearby cafe, where our plates were laden with pastries. Someone local must have upset Bev as she decided to tell everyone what she thought about the country, but she calmed down after a few coffees. The weather looked favourable, so we were looking forwards to a day without rain. After a visit to the toilet in what was a hut looking out onto a beautiful vista, we set off.

Then our first problem of the day presented itself to us. A dog. Now, I quite like dogs, especially ones which don’t make lots of noise and look like they might bite me. And the dog which followed us was rather delightful and we looked forwards to the dog finding its home nearby and leaving us. Bev was very pleased with this dog though and Gordon also noticed that there was a dog following us after around 40 minutes.

Well, 90 minutes later and we arrived at our train stop and this bloody dog was still with us. We had done everything we could to lose it, including hiding behind a wall and rushing down a passageway when the dog wasn’t looking. There we were, four adults trying to hide from this damn dog. It found us every time, this was no stupid dog.

And the problem with the dog wasn’t just that we couldn’t get rid of it, it was that it had a road sense of a five year old child. So perhaps it was a little stupid having through about it. It ran out in the road and expected cars to stop for it, which fortunately they always did. Some of the locals looked furious that we weren’t keeping out dog under control, but we didn’t known the Italian for “it’s not our bloody dog”.

We were fortunate that when we got to the train station in Meta that the dog didn’t come in, so perhaps he has guided people down there before. We rushed through the ticket barriers and we were free from the dog. We hope that he found his way home safely….

We asked a local which side of the railway station we needed to be on to get to Sorrento, and they told us. Then the locals on the other side of the platform all rushed over to our side, having overheard what we’d been told. The train arrived soon after and we just about fitted on. And then I heard there was someone banging about and playing music to get money on the train. I like trains and I really like quiet trains, so I wasn’t thrilled…. Gordon wondered why we couldn’t just get a taxi.

We arrived into Sorrento soon enough and then the debacle about Gordon’s toilet visit started. He tried to sneak into the disabled toilet, but then couldn’t gain access, before traipsing around the building’s basement looking for facilities. He was then charged 50 cents to gain access, but he didn’t mind this as he could afford it.

We then got the bus to Termini, which is where our walk began. Our plan was to set off after having a short drink in this little town, but we were a little waylaid on this walking expedition when we were stopped by a man offering us food and drink. Sitting by the side of the road, inhaling car fumes, we enjoyed lunch by a shack. Gordon ordered two lasagnes, Bev and Steve one each, which seemed a reasonable number, and I had a salad. All very lovely.

Three of us had a limoncello spritzer thing, which sent Gordon and Bev out for the count. Gordon seemed to be quite under the influence of this alluring elixir and was revealing all sorts of secrets. I am though nothing if but discreet, so I won’t reveal anything about the clubs of which he is a member. I couldn’t understand why Bev and Gordon found this drink so strong, I agreed with Steve that it just tasted of lemon Fanta.

Gordon did though give us the idea of having a murder mystery evening for Hike Norfolk. This seems a marvellous idea and we just needed to find someone for whom there would be a motive for wanting to kill. We soon thought of who that could fit, but I won’t reveal who we choose.

After this drunken lunch binge we set off on our walk, which went straight up a hill. The walk gave us wonderful coastal views and we met a couple from the Netherlands who told us that they had seen a snake. I was far from impressed at that news…. Steve and Bev walked down a little further than Gordon and myself, and I was surprised at just how few people were on the route. Gordon and I talked about death which helped to pass the time until Bev and Steve returned.

We then walked slowly back after being fortunate to see such extensive views which were mesmerising. Gordon fell over and impaled his little finger on a twig, but after that we dropped back into the village and began our walk to the hotel. I was slightly nervous about the route as it seemed to gain and lose height quickly, but it was a manageable route and it went through a little cave tunnel.

The walk to the hotel was around an hour for three of us, but Gordon had booked somewhere rather more, well, expensive. He got a taxi there, because he can afford it, whilst the rest of us remained at our hotel playing in the lift. There’s a long story about that, but I might leave that treat for another day. Needless to say, it was another mini adventure. But I’ve found that people from Hike Norfolk, and similar groups, tend to get into a lot of little adventures.

There was then a discussion about where we should go for our evening meal. It was either staying in the hotel that three of us were in, or going to Gordon’s expensive hotel. Three of us couldn’t afford Gordon’s expensive hotel, so he bribed us to go by paying for all of our food, but none of the drink. We demanded his hotel laid on a shuttle for us, which they agreed to do.

Steve and Bev had a play in the lift and then when the shuttle turned up Gordon shocked us all by saying he was now only paying for half of the buffet. We were very livid indeed, but none of us said anything and we pretended to pleased with his generosity. Gordon’s hotel was rather too posh for us, but it had a lovely view over the bay and Bev was tempted to jump into the hotel’s swimming pool. Gordon had his clothes drying outside of his room, which was a lovely sight for the rich guests when they arrived.

Gordon had arranged for us to eat from his hotel’s buffet and we were initially disappointed with the selection of food. Then we realised, after piling our plates high, that we were just looking at the starters. So, we binge ate starters in the thought that was the limit to the food. Then we had to struggle our way through mains and desserts, although I was very brave and managed to have two plates of mains anyway. I was entirely unimpressed at the restaurant’s beer and wine selection, so opted for sparkling water, which was very mature of me.

Then something irritating happened. The hotel thought that it would be a marvellous idea to have a local entertainer sing and play the guitar. Now, I’m not going to be negative about anyone, but I will say that this entertainer caused Bev great amusement. She joined in with great enthusiasm with the music and managed to break one of the instruments. She had a most lovely time.

Gordon, who is on the cusp of being upper class, let alone middle class, looked confused as to what to do. Here he was, being the perfect host, and one of his guests was in fits of hysterics. He looked calm though, that’s what the British gentry are very good at. He’ll soon be in that upper class bracket, I just know it.

We then got the shuttle back to our less glamorous accommodation and had another play in the lift. And that is the short version of our day….. Photos will follow at some point….