Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day 81


The fellow who invited me over to shower in the afternoon ended up inviting me to sleep over. He himself had arrived from Morocco six months ago and had found the local community to be as friendly as I had.

His apartment was a large room that looked as though it had been converted from some commercial purpose. In an overwhelming display of hospitality, he told me that he would be staying with a friend so that I would have the whole place to myself. I tried to dissuade him, but effectively communicated that I was scared to be alone.

“Don't worry, my friend’s grandmother lives across the street.  This is a safe area.”

I thought maybe he was leaving because he was giving me all of his blankets, so I asked if I should bring my sleeping bag.

He understood from this that I would prefer to sleep with my own sleeping bag than his blankets and told me it wouldn’t be a problem if I used my own sleeping bag.

I gave up and slept wonderfully after watching the episode of Star Trek where they go back in time.

The next morning, my phone wouldn’t turn on.  I use my phone to check the weather and blog and communicate with the world.  It doesn’t work anymore.

For breakfast I was excited to have a new kind of chickpeas.  The night before I found in the supermarket a brand that cost 50 cents instead of the usual 65.

They tasted like salty rat sludge, that is to say, I will be spending the extra 15 cents in the future.

I put in on flat waters and began to kayak towards one of the corners of Italy.  Sandy white mountains with pine trees and other southern looking plants I didn’t recognize rose up gradually from the shore.

As I approached the corner a headwind steadily picked up to a force four, the strongest wind I’m willing to paddle into.  

Around the corner I headed north.  I don’t like the prospect of going north, since it will get colder, but I’m pleased since the change in direction signifies that I’m now on the last major section of Italy before my big crossing.  The big crossing to Greece scares me, but with good weather I should be able to do it.

Over the last few days of paddling single car trains periodically ran along the tracks.  Farther north they have more cars, but down here I guess there just aren’t that many people.

The head wind pummeled me.  The forecast called for conditions to deteriorate further, so at 10:00, three hours after I started, I pulled over to the beach and took out.  

I lifted my kayak with the usual colossal feat of strength, this time accompanied by a roar, stumbled backwards and fell with the 800 pound boat landing on top of me.

If I didn’t have near hulk-like powers I probably would have been crushed, but as it was I lay there for a few minutes and decided I was fine, then yanked my leg out from under it.

I lifted again.  I try to lift my kayak without using my back, but I’m not sure if I have a clue how to do that.  I roared again, then resumed my slow progress to the waterline.

Once there, I opened the hatches, took off my jacket and skirt and put on my fleece and shell.

I impressed a couple of locals with the abbreviated story my journey, but not so much that I got anything resembling an invitation.

Since it was still early in the day, I decided I would search for a wifi connection. There was a bar nearby, but they told me they didn’t have one.  I walked for an hour to every bar, restaurant, and bakery in the town.  Everyone told me to go to Internet Point where I could pay for a connection.

Small houses with walled gardens backed up to railroad tracks.  An orange tree hung heavily with fruit out towards the tracks.  I looked both ways.  I didn’t see a train, so I hopped onto the railroad and went to pick a fruit.  Just I was reaching my hand out a woman stepped onto her back porch.  She was talking in Italian and looking at me.  I don’t know if she was talking to me and I don’t know what she was saying, but I tried to scurry casually off, no orange in had.

I gave up and wandered back to the first bar near my boat and dejectedly asked them if I could sit and use their electricity for my computer.

Sure, no problem.  While I sat I told them my story.  In exchange they gave me their wi fi code and offered me free lunch.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="3103,3104,3105,3106,3107,3108,3109,3110"]

Nautical miles paddled: 7

Total since Naples: 271

Current location: 37.962729,16.102287


  1. It's so nice that you find such generous people at every port!

  2. Almost every port, and the people I meet are the greatest part of this trip!

  3. When I biked across the US many years ago I found lots of hospitality just like you are doing now.

  4. So now that you have "gone back on time" and have no cell phone, how do u get the weather forecasts ?

  5. So far, I've been begging for internet connections. I got one last night in a clothing store.