I really almost didn't make this last leg of my journey. I was so happy and comfy at Ginestrelle I found myself half-wishing that a spot would open up for me to stay on until the end of the month. And then wouldn't you know it; exactly that happened. Someone left ahead of schedule. It was like a test of my resolve to follow through with my original plan. I pondered, then thought of my own little 'ABC's of Life' (Adventure, Bravery, Creativity), put my bags in Marina's car and headed to the train station.
The landscape of this country changes pretty quickly as you head south. It becomes looser, more colorful. I was trying to read one of the books I bought at the train station in Rome, but I couldn't keep my eyes on the page. Once I switched from train to bus in Salerno I was just flat out staring at the view, jaw dropped, nose against the window. The one and only road clings to the coast, teetering in and out with the rock formations high above the Mediterranean. Grove upon grove of terraced lemon trees are interspersed with wild jumbles of vegetation; fig and olive trees, cacti, flowering bushes. Ancient buildings cling to the rock face like barnacles. Every so often a bay opens up below revealing a beach, boats and a cluster of rooftops below. The road is so narrow that we honk as we head into each curve, and many times cars are forced to stop and reverse carefully along the narrow road to let us pass. We're like goats on a mountain trail. I'm anxious for the driver to call out my stop. There's no actual bus stop where I'm going, I know you can't see the town from the road (too steep) and I have a giant suitcase to retrieve from under the bus. Finally he calls our Erchie (air-key-eh). I step off to find beautiful Senem, smiling, ready to help me haul my bag onto the narrow shoulder and wind our way down the hillside to my new home away from home.
Senem and her man Gian Pietro live in a sweet little apartment above Federico's Restaurant, 50 metres clear shot to the sea. Within 20 minutes we are lifelong friends, sharing food, wine, music and stories. They're both passionate about food production; growing and sourcing, preparing and eating. They make their pasta by hand with flour ground from wheat grown from their own seeds of ancient origin. It's an education and a complete pleasure to sit at their table. And the food, oh my god. It's good. I can't believe it's only been four days that I've been here. We've been on many adventures, which I will write about later, but today is all about resting up. It's three thirty in the afternoon and I've done nothing but sit in the sunshine and play my guitar, nap, and write this post. Might be time to wander out and see what's cookin'.
More stories to come...