20 Jul 2019 – Saturday.
Flo and I weren’t able to book a seat for the 10.30am shuttle bus down to Amalfi and the other timing of 8am was too early for us. So I decided to be all gung-ho about it, suggesting we take the hike down to the fiord, and catch the bus from there.
What started off as a pleasant walk down flights and flights of uneven concrete steps, turned into a tiring, hot one that had our legs shaking with each step down that we managed.
So many times I felt like giving up, but I certainly wasn’t going to go back up. Down it was. We had many sit-downs and drink-ups, trying to pace ourselves and finding the best method to walk down the stairs.
Who would have thunk that walking down could be just as tiring as walking up!? We learnt it the hard way. After two hours of stairs and swearing never to be so foolish again, we finally reached the fiord that Flo’s big boss has recommended us to see.
It was worth the climb down, kind of. No, not really.
The beautiful waters filling the fiord below was a glorious shade of emerald green. It was breathtaking to say the least, but the two-hour painful journey down was not something I’d do again to see it.
There were small boats all coming in with day-trippers fancying a dip into the water. There were also visitors who’d parked their motorbikes/scooters and cars on the side of the narrow roads to leg it down.
Little did we know that the hike down was only half the battle. Flo and I sat patiently at the bus stop waiting for the public bus to arrive. When it finally did, the driver refused to let us board, saying that we didn’t have a paid-for ticket. He said there was another bus behind and to get on that one. We didn’t realise he meant a shuttle bus that we’d have to pay multiple times more for. So we waited for the next public bus and told the driver I was pregnant and to please let us board. He refused as well. Finally, the third bus arrived and we said once again I was pregnant. He refused. We argued that we’d waited for 3 buses now and I couldn’t take it anymore so to please let us board. He asked us where we were heading to and we said Amalfi. Then he shooed us in.
So in a way, our babies saved us from being stranded on a random road in the middle of almost nowhere. I wrote all this down on my phone, hoping to share the story with them one day…
Anyway, Flo and I managed a free ride on the bus to Amalfi Coast, which was bustling with people!
It had a pretty town centre that was filled with touristy eateries and souvenir shops, so much so that it was difficult for us to find a place to sit with our ‘picnic’ lunch. In the end, we settled on some stairs that was partly shaded and away from the crowd.
The town centre wasn’t very small so after a bit of a wander, we headed to the beach side where the other mass of people were, cooling off in the water.
It’s crazy how so many people could enjoy the beach when it was packed. It was a black sand beach which didn’t appeal to me, and people laid shoulder to shoulder getting red from the scorching sun. I spent the late part of my teens at the beach, letting the sun brown me over a series of consecutive days at a go. I later learnt how much sun damage there must be on my skin and there’s no reversing it. So perhaps my dose of sun from youth is enough to last me the rest of my life which is why I no longer see the allure of sandy beaches and sunbathing.
That being said, I am not one of those Asians who walk around slathered in sunscreen carrying an umbrella and wearing sleeves in order to hide from the sun. I’m happy being sun kissed without baring my body to the sun’s rays especially when it’s at its peak.
Hubs on the other hand, still likes a dip every once in a while so he got himself into the Amalfi waters and went for a short swim while I sat on the rocks like a seal.
Then it was gelato time.
We returned to our B&B (with a paid bus ticket each, no less) after and gathered all our dirty laundry before driving to Agerola, the town just up from where we were. We found out that it was a dry cleaner’s and not a laundromat, so we scrapped the thought.
Dinner was in Picchio Rosso, a family-run restaurant that I read only good things about online. As usual, Flo and I were early for dinner (most Italians only have dinner around 8, 9pm) and the place was empty. I started questioning my suggestion to dine there.
Still, service was hospitable and we could see Big Papa who I believe helmed the kitchen, coming out to the dining area every once in a while to check on things.
I ordered some grilled vegetables, because I felt I needed the ruffage.
As well as this Squid, Mussels and Cannellini Bean Stew. It was incredibly homey in its rustic presentation and soulful in flavour. I could feel the love that went into making this dish.
Flo had a Pizza with Prociutto, Cheese, and Onions. He declared it way better than the one he had in Napoli and promptly went on to polish it off. It had a lovely crisp bottom that held the sauce and ingredients on top well.
Impressed with dinner, Flo couldn’t resist some dessert. Dessert of choice was Delizia al Limone, an Amalfi speciality. It didn’t look like much but digging into it, we were pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the delizia. It was not too sweet and the tartness of the lemon was extremely pleasing to the palate. The sponge within was soft and fluffy, and the cream, airy.
Having not had his sweet-tooth fully satisfied, Flo and I walked to the town-centre after our meal, where had had another cup of gelato.
I had some orange tea thing that seems to be sold everywhere in Italy. I thought it was sparkling but it wasn’t gassy and was very sweet. We chilled there for a while since there was a music festival going on, but neither of us could get into the music. So we decided to make for our B&B.
Of course, we couldn’t leave without stopping by the candy shop that was selling ‘pick and mix’ dummies just a few steps from where we’d park the car. A sweet ending to a bit of a rough start always makes everything better!