Wednesday, June 27, 2012
2012 Italy - Day 6 - Hike from Amalfi to Pontone
Both Jack and Morgan slept late while Sharon and I wandered down to breakfast. The hotel has a very nice breakfast and something resembling American coffee. The kids eventually wandered down for breakfast about 9:15 a.m.
The original plan for the day was to go to Amalfi and do a hike. After talking to the concierge about the different options (bus, taxi or ferry), we decided to grab the 10:30 a.m. ferry to Postino and Amalfi. It was a beautiful hour and ten minute ferry ride along the Amalfi Coast. The cliffs are a limestone and look very different than the California coast.
Once we were on the ground in Amalfi, we got off track a bit. The directions in the Rick Steven's Italy book for the hike past the paper mills were vague at best. We got to the starting point of the hike, but had trouble figuring out which way to go. After a couple of starts, including trying to ask directions at the Paper Mill Museum, we thought that we were going the right way, but ended up back in the town. I have to admit that I got a little frustrated.
Using the directions on a map that we bought, we started off again. This time we got on the right track, although I don't think that we actually took the hike recommended by Rick Stevens. We climbed steadily along the terraced lemon orchards for about 1.6 miles. The climb was over 900 vertical feet. We finally reached Pontone and had a nice lunch in a restaurant overlooking the ocean down a different ridge. While Amalfi was packed with tourist, there only a couple of people on the trail. Pontone was very quiet.
Going back down the mountain was a lot easier than going up. Google Earth views and maps of the hike are here.
While Sharon and Morgan shopped in Amalfi, Jack and I found a shady spot close to the Mediterranean Sea by a cold drink. We are planning to come back to Amalfi tomorrow and tour the church.
We caught a 4:35 p.m. ferry back to the Sorrento. Dusty and hot, we went for a dip in the pool after we got back to the hotel.
Getting cleaned up, we had a drink on the terrace of the hotel watching the sunset. We then wandered into town. Sharon didn't like the restaurant that the hotel recommended and we couldn't get into the restaurant on the top of the guide book. We ended up having a nice late dinner. I had an interesting seafood pizza.
The main square near the hotel has been packed with people whenever we ventured out. South of the square, the town is made up a number of a number of narrow streets that date from the old Greek city.
It was again after midnight by the time we were in bed...