a travel fatigued ciao to the final leg of where the Tiber meets the sea
Jan 3, 2023 | Ravello > Another beautiful sunrise in Ravello, ate breakfast on our terraza then walked down to Amalfi, got a cappuccino + swam in the sea (yes, in January, all day in shorts + T-shirt), absolutely beautiful. Sat on the beach for a while after soaking in the sun, looking for sea glass + broken tiles for our bedder-½. Walked up past the paper mills into the forested ravine, but couldn't find the same trail we took last year. Last October when we were in Ravello, we wrote:
> weird how memary works... we've bin to the Amalfi area 3 x b4, in 2001, 2011 + 2016 but we remember the 2001 trip the most + the more recent 2016 trip the least... does this mean we'll quickly forget this trip? 4 eggsample, we've walked this trail b4 but we only vaguely remember it ...
... + indeed we didn't really remember where the trail was, or seems they gated the road we used to walk on to access the valley + instead went onto a similar "jungle" walk for a while, before it dead-ended. All for the better b/c we felt more like sunny exposure rather than the dark folds of the valley away from the sea. Found a different way back up to Ravello, wrapping around the mountain + ended up in villa Cimbrone (which we didn't go into last trip)... ~11 miles of very steep stair-master climbing. Had dinner at Mimi's, decent but limited menu.
Hand of God, appropriately enough... Paolo Sorrentino's autobiography about growing up in Naples.
Sound of the waves on Amalfi's beach:
another cemetery w/ a view
using mules as pick-up trucks
... or cables to haul goods from the valley below
papermills overgrown w/ jungle
the ultimate fuck-off view from Villa Cimbrone
Jan 4 | Fiumicino> Last sunrise over Ravello. We'd take a photo but we've taken plenty of photos of sunrises in Ravello. Last night we dreamt someone invited us up in a small plane + we came close to murmurations of starlings, so close U could see individual birds + their feathers twitching as they maneuvered to turn in which direction their closest neighbors (who were centimeters away) would turn, as if 1 organism + it was really exciting but at the same time we felt it was a bad omen + we were gonna crash, that the starlings would go into our engines like that flight in Rome a decade ago that had to crashland b/c it hit flocks of starlings. We hit a few birds + we felt bad, but nothing happened to the plane. Obviously we had this dream b/c today we're going to Fiumicino to catch our plane home + the anxiety of out last stretch driving to Rome.
In the last post we talked about the nomadic life, what we also didn't mention is the fatigue factor. We were gonna travel just for the sake of traveling for a gap year (1990–1991) but after 6 months we grew tired of travelling (+ also were running out of money, despite living cheaply, travelling by bike + working stints on farms in New Zealand, etc.). We met all sorts of ppl that had had been shoestring vagabonding for years all over the world, but even if U have the means, what's the point? Some would argue what's the point of existence unless U see the world... what other point is there? Just like they climb Everest b/c it's there. But at some point we feel we shd be doing something productive, giving back to the world. In other stages of our lives we've lived nomadically were there's sort of a purpose (living in a van + hotels doing geological field work from 1995–1997, or the 6 months when our bedder-½ was doing a lot of travelling + we based ourselves in Rome in 2015), but even then we itch to go "home" after a while + the time period gets less + less as we get older. And travelling for the sake of travelling (tho this trip could be considered our bedder-½'s sabbatical/scouting trip to determine whether we shd live here or NYC), it seems 1 or 2 weeks is the sweet spot. After that we get fatigued of "seeing the sights". Needless to say, wonderful as this trip has been, after over a month of travelling we're itching to go home.
Italy has perhaps now surpassed Mexico as the foreign country we've spent the most time in, both around 5-6 years (tho a year in Mexico was when we were too young to remember + another year when we worked a lot in northern Mexico but "lived" in Arizona, sometimes crossing the border daily). Think we've been to every state in both countries. And now perhaps, we feel done w/ Italy.
Drove the backway from Ravello, over the mountain... fine view of Naples, Pompeii + Vesuvius below. Through Naples + onto the hectic autostrada to Roma, counting the kilometers... no matter how good a driver U are, if U drive in Italy long enough you're bound to get rear-ended or sideswiped, the way the Italians love to tailgate within inches or when they pass they don't even bother to go in the other lane... won't miss that shit at all about Italy, most annoying drivers ever. Made it to Fiumicino in 1 piece w/ our precious professorial cargo. Fiumicino is 1 of the best kept secrets about Rome, we've done this 2 or 3 times now, when we have a flight out + a car to return. It's 8 minutes to the airport, but doesn't seem like it, quiet little fishing port, right where the mighty Tiber enters the sea. Had a great seafood lunch of vongole + calamari + a much-needed (after that drive) glass or 2 of peccorino white wine, sitting in the sun in a T-shirt outside on the river. Then walked up the canal + across, along the perfectly crappy Fiumicino beach then to the tip of the canal where it enters the Mediterranean watching the fishing boats come in w/ their hauls, then back along the banks near our hotel as they mongered the fish right on the jetty. Now going to eat some of that fish.