Monday, December 27, 2010

Lost in a City

Last night the Scout Master invited me to his home to shower and use his computer. He and his wife were very kind and gave me a chocolate bar and some homemade apricot jam from the apricots that had grown on their trees. I couldn't say no.

I checked the weather and saw there would be a strong north east wind. I thought that maybe if I stayed close to shore I could keep out of the worst of it. I would check the weather again in the morning at the port.

Day 41:
I was unable to check the weather at the neighboring port since it's closed on Sundays. Given the bad report I had seen the night before I decided I would not paddle today. After I finished my morning chores I was bored, so I put my stuff in my boat and paddled to Genova.


I had a solid tailwind, which left me with a problem. I could follow it out to seastraighttowards Genova, and if it held up I would be there in no time. If however it changed to the predicted northeast wind, then I would be in a bad place to deal with a bad wind. If I stayed close to shore then I would not enjoy the tailwind and might not even notice if it switched to a northeast wind. No risk no gain, and I wouldn't even know if I made the right decision. I didn't want to not know, so I took the tailwind on a course directly to Genova. It held up for about an hour before I had to desperately struggle back to the shelter of the cliffs.

The rest of the day was rough. When I had shelter from the wind, it was OK, but oftenI didn't. It was also very cold. I arrived at the first port in Genova late in the day, exhausted and cold. Banjo had given me a number to call for someone that would host me. Only they lived near the other port.

So I hitchhiked and took a bus and tried to call them but they didn't answer. Finally they did, and told me that they couldn't host me after all.

The size of a city has nothing to do with how many square miles it takes up or what its population is. It has to do with how scary it is. Genova is a scary city at night on a bus when you can't find anyone who speaks English. What's more is that asking directions for the port, that I thought but was not sure was next to the airport, was difficult since nobody knows it exists. I needed to get back to my boat and people kept giving me directions to the wrong port.

Eventually I found my way.

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