15th June, 2009
Just Kidding! This is a combo journal, starting on:
11th June, 2009
Check out time at Zues Camping is 12:00 so I had time to get packed and stuff, and the ferry wasn’t leaving until 5:15 (17:15HRS). Took my time and wrote out my journal, and had a couple of oranges from the tree by my tent. I had to phone the ferry to ask where the ferry left Napoli, and they told me to take a cab from Garibaldi to Pier 44 (the conversation was longer than this, and they seemed to think I would just hop in a cab from Pompai and head out to the ferry. This would be uite costly. I took the Metro to Garibaldi, and walked around outside to look for a restaurant but ended up coming back to the station and having a McDonald’s meal (some kinda Italian burger in a Panini, they ro have a Big Mac, but I figured I’d try the italian Panini. It was OK.
Bought a city map and decided I’d hea to the National Museum, and headed out. It’s quite amazing and has the original stuff from Pompei there. The statues are just gorgeous, and there’s a statue of Astarte there, but I screwed up the focus and didn’t get a very good picture of it. Dang! And here’s something interesting. There’s a collossal statue of the “genius of Rome”, and, correct me if I’m wrong, but he looks just like Burton Cumming! Check it out! Is it just me?
Took a cab to the pier and got ripped, I think. The guy at the ferry said it shouldn’t be more than 10E from Garibaldi. I think he was wrong, but I’M A TOURIST. Once we were on the dock it took a while to find it cause a bus had parked across the gate to the DiMaio Ferry and blocked it from view. We finally figured out that, and the driver dropped me off (24E). They opened the gates almost right away. It was around 1500 HRS then, and I had to wait till they were ready for tickets. It took quite a while. The guy running the compuer couldn’t get the printer to work, so I helped him load a driver for the printer and after some messing around, I had a ticket. It’s quite something trying to get through Microsoft Windows at the best of times. Doing in Italian takes a little bit longer.
Truns out the ferry didn’t leave until 7! How come everyone keeps telling me to get to these things so early? I just had a deck ticket and hung out on the deck. There’s seats inside and I slept there overnight. I sat in the lounge while some Italian host had kids play games for prizes, and he was quite amusing apparently cause everyone laughed at the things he said (in Italian). Woke up in time to write some stuff on the computer and edit some pictures, and went out on deck in time tosee Sardinia approaching. That would be on:
12th June, 2009
The ferry docked around 11:00 at Golfo d’Aranjo, but didn’t unload until around 12:00. There was no direct bus to Santa Teresa where I thought I’d get a ferry to Maddelena Island, but the general consensus was that I would have to take the train to Olbia and then bus to Palau. From there, I could take a traggeto over to the island. The train wasn’t due until 13:20, so I bought a ticket from the machine at the station and sat and waited. I got directions in Olbia for the train station (If you just walk down the track 100 meters you’re there, but I’d gone out the front door and up the only road) and found out I’d just missed the bus. The next one wasn’t until 18:30. This is at 1400 HRS. So I walked about, got directions to an Internet Point, and uploaded a buncha pictures to the Net. There’s a place in the square at Olbia called BAR ITALIA! Apparently the favourite bar in the neighbourhood. (I actually saw three Bar Italias in Sardinia, but only have pictures of this one. I stopped in the Mary Café instead, but they had no food, so I had a cappucino and moved to Bar Italia. Only pastry stuff, not even pizza! But the owner directed me next door and I ordered lasagna. It wasn’t really great or anything, and I thought a bit pricey for the size. I went for a gelati after that, then wandered back to the Bus Area to wait for my bus. Finally figured out, just as it arrived, I’d better have a ticket, so I rushed over to the Tabacci place to buy a ticket and jumped on the bus just as it was leaving.
Arrived at Palau, got on the ferry, and guess what? No buses! This is about 9PM. I finally get zoned into to Il Sole Camping and walk MILES to get there only to find out it’s closed! PERMANENTLY! I get directions from the Pizza resataurant ther for La Maddelena Camping, and it took me about an hour to find it. It was quite dark by then. I can hear it, cause there’s a party going on, but the gate is locked and no one is answering the buzzer. I give up and decide to keep walking as the road I’m on seemed to be heading into the country (it doesn’t), and found a Main Entrance to Maddelena Camping. I get to the restaurant in the camp ground, and the bartender says the camping is CLOSED! Still, he gets someone on the telephone who speaks English, and he says I can stay there, but there’s no hot water in the shwoer. He also told me the palce is clsoed for camping (It’s not, but maybe it’s a government thing or something till he fixes the shower (they were working on it). This is good, and I set up the tent and go have a Coke at the bar and watched “The Song Remains The Same” video by Led Zeppelin. I was pretty content.
13th June, 2009
Left the campground to check out the island around 7:00 AM. I decided to take a different route (the opposite direction from which I had come the night before) and found I could get into the town of La Maddelena in about 20 minutes. And there was a fruit stall that sold fruit to locals, and I bought four oranges for 1.20 Euros, and the guy didn’t charge me for the pear I wanted as well. So that was cool. What was not cool is there are no buses on the island, so my plan of taking a bus to sight see was shot. I had hoped I could take a bus over to Caprere which is less inhabited and joined to La Maddelena by a causeway. I was feeling quite frustrated by not being to get around, so I took Il Piccolo Treno around La Maddelena for 7 Euros. The driver was quite amusing, but I missed most of the jokes ‘cause I don’t really understand Italian. That done, I decided I couldn’t just hang around the town (the prices here were quite steep, as it’s another of those tourist spots), so I decided to walk across to Caprere. I got there and decided to go for a swim in a teeny little beach, but shore was littered with broken beer and wine bottles. I didn’t want to take a chance on gashing my feet open, so I kinda paddled around in one little spot, sat in the water to cool off, and then went and sun tanned further inland on a large rock. The rocks here look quite smooth, but they’re granite, and the little crystals in the rock are quite sharp and hard on the feet. The sun was quite hot and I had to use my shirt to protect my forehead. It was very quiet there, and I fell asleep for a few hours, I think. It wasn’t until I saw myself in the pictures of me, I realized how kinda dumb I looked. Kinda like a cross-dressing flapper. It kinda explained the rude guy at a bar who laughed at me, as I passed by.
Got back early and haad a great shower and lay down for a nap (the restaurant didn’t open until 8PM). Woke up around 5AM. I figured I could get an early start, but the dew had formed on the tent and I had to wait until 9:00 AM until the tent and my washing were dry enough to pack into my bag. Technically the clothes weren’t very dry, but I figured I’d have them out soon. My plan was to get a ferry to Santa Teresa, then over to Bonifacio in Corsica, then on a train to Bastia and then to Toulon or Nice.
This is what really happened:
I started walking and stopped to buy oranges and water where I had bought oranges and water the day before, and wouldn’t ya know it: I’m leaving the island, and there are buses running. Not just one, BUT A WHOLE BUNCH! Turns out they don’t run weekends (which was when I was there). WHAT A RIP! SO, there’s no ferry to Santa Teresa. This was a bummer too, cause I’d wanted to sail through the islands in the strait here between Sardinia and Corsica. So I gotta take a bus. I do that. Got to Santa Teresa in time to catch the ferry at 11. It’s 16 Euros. Good price. It’s not far. I think it took about an hour.
So now I’m in Corsica! Turns out they speak French! At last a language I almost understand! Unfortunately changing gears from trying to speak Italian to trying to speak French isn’t too easy. I don’t know if I metnioned this before but the Itlaian word for “bill” is “fatura”: same as Arabic. Or is it the other way around? I think probably; I don’t think the Arabs really knew about giving a writtenbill until the Europeans insisted upon it.
Bonifacio is VERY UPSCALE TOURISTY. I think wine is mandatory with the meal. There was a cool blue motor yacht there called “Ad Lib”. Just had to be a famous movie star owned it with a name like that. And everything is French all of a sudden. Very cool. I can do that! Still, despite being able to converse in French is not the same thing as getting information in France. I got a timetable from the Tourist Information Office that suggested there would be a bus around 4:15 or so. I decided to kill time. I had a great egg and tuna salad and french fries with a Coke, and decided I might as well take “La Petit Train” and see the sitets. The ticket was only 5 Euros. Unfortunately they wouldn’t keep my knapsack in the office so I ad to take it on the train (just like in Universal Studios) with me. I’m sitting there reading the timetable and realize the bus leaves at 1:30! No time for the train. I get off the train just as it starts to move!
But the bus that arrives isn’t the one I want. It actually was, but I was asking the wrong questions. So anyway, it turns out that I have to get a bus to Porto Veccio and then get another one to Bastia, then take another bus to Calvi to catch the ferry to Toulon. I finally get a bus that will take me to Porto Veccio, and as I’m checking the map, I see that there’s a ferry to Toulon and a ferry to Marseilles going from Ajacio. I talk to the bus driver and he says there’s one to Marseilles. I’d already paid 9 Euros to get to Porto Vecchio, and he says its 13 to Ajaccio, but I can’t explain I already paid 9 Euros (five minutes earlier) and should only pay another 4, but it musta been a language barrier thing somewhere.
I get to the ferry, thinking I’d get a cabin, but the guy puts my Mastercard through on a Deck ticket (only 43 Euros). By 17:45, I’m on my way by boat to Marseilles. Only thing is, there’s not a lot of seats on the ferry for the taking, and the stupid ferry is gonna arrive at 2AM. That really sucks. I found a seat and my cord stretches from her to an outlet so I can edit some photos and write this blog.
Je suis tres fatigue, et je n’aimerai pas d’arriver a Deux heures a Marseilles! C’est la vie, mais aussi c’est un grand domage, n’est-ce pas?