Monday, January 3, 2011

I Saw a Goat

Day 43:

This morning I searched Nervi for a chart, a toothbrush, and gas.  I have now left my old chart.  I am almost out of gas for my stove, and I had lost my old toothbrush in Switzerland.  I found a toothbrush and got directions to a store that would sell me gas.  The gas store was closed since it's Monday.  The Marine shop which I hoped would sell me a chart was closed for the same reason.  “Monday is a reason to be closed?”  You might ask.

I don't know, but it sure makes shopping a task.

Today I paddled from Nervi to Rapallo. The sun was out, and I basked in it.  I haven't paddled under the sun in a long time.  The mountains where bright and the hills were alive with the sound of music.*  It was a nice day.


I paddled around a large scarcely inhabited peninsula.  Once on the outside of it the headwind picked up, but itwas not intolerable.  Large cliffs overflowing with green woods shot above.  Interesting stone formations were everywhere.  Atop one rocky peakthere was an old tower with a great view of the sea, and shortly after there was a tiny village at the base of a mountain.  The buildings in the village must have been very old and I got the impression that the only access to this place was sea access.

Later I saw a goat.

The next tiny village, maybe five buildings including the church and the castle, was flying a red cross flag and had a few tourists wandering about.


What's that?  More about the goat?  OK.

At first there was only one, a white fellow with mighty horns and a wise face.  He had a beard that looked kind of like mine only a lot better.  I imagine that this was no ordinary goat, but a goat king.  Lord of all the goats of the peninsula.

The other goats that appeared one at a time afterwards were neat looking, but none so impressive as the first.  They were climbing along the cliff face and eating from the grasses and plants growing from the rocks.  I noticed them when I stopped for my own lunch and was staring at the cliff, only to realize that there was a goat in front of me staring back.

Paddling around the second corner of the squarish peninsula I fought against a wall of wind, and once past it the wind calmed a little but the surf became fairly rough for a while with waves frequently spilling over my deck.

Finally I was approaching the town of Rappalo.  I kept my eyes open for the kayak club.  I had a phone number to call when I got there.  The number was given to me by Banjo, and whoever was at the other end was expecting my call and would hook me up with a place to stay for the night.  I thought I saw another paddler in the distance, it looked like another row boat of the sort I had seen the day before but I wasn't sure.  The boat disappeared behind some rocks, not to reemerge.

I asked a fisherman for directions to the club.  He was sure it was somewhere around here, but didn't know where.  I approached a port, and from around the corner came two kayakers.  Their boats where small and unadorned.  The sportsmen were a couple in their golden years who spoke not a word of English.  They were headed to the kayak club, so I followed them back the way I came.  They showed me to a changing room and when I was done helped me move my boat to a safe place.  They invited me to sleep over.

* I don’t think he means that literally. ~ ed.

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