Positano, the heart of the Amalfi Coast

Positano Travel Blog

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Clear blue skies today! We sleep late. Both got good sleeps. D typing this up now. Bought some fresh fruit at market. Walked way, way down to town and the beach. Hot. Bright sun. Tried to stay in the shade....talked with some Brits from London, and each had a bottled water to keep cool. Took a hot mini-bus back up to the Hostel 2pm. Nappy time. So relaxing, and nice to be in cool shade.
Later, we look at his rail map and compare past travel stories using the map. We drink in this great view as the sun to our relief is dulled behind some high clouds then is hidden behind the mountain. Ahhhhhh. Still no wireless, rather irritating it is. Tomorrow's place says they have it, perhaps they will!
J reads in his book there is a nice restaurant straight up the back of us, and we hike way up there up a lot of steps. A+ location with perfect view! We are of course the first ones there before 7pm. We get the perfect table with world-class view. Manager, Luigi speaks perfect english, suggests a really fresh pasta appetizer which we split. AWESOME! Spinach, tomato, cheese. Luigi, 60's, sporting a red sweater and happy face, says he's never been to Sicily, and doesn't think any of the US candidates for Prez are any good.
A young lady sits at table over from us. I start the conversation. She's from Chicago, Mother is Swedish, and just turned 21, teacher, world traveler, Spanish speaker. She's been stung by jellyfish swimming in the Med; showed her skin. I think J likes her slender Swedish beauty. Great! We are hearing from her Capri is big on shopping, doesn't look that different from here, and am rather satisfied that J leaned towards just staying here, yes! We hear of the trash piling up in Naples, and the fires the folks set to it to keep the stench down. I'll be glad to get out of here as always.
I have mixed fried fish and esalada mixta. Just perfect. We have conversations with Luigi, our waiter and her as the nearly full moon rises and from our table by the open window, Positano twinkles, the moon reflects and you can even see the waves breaking at the small black sand beach. It is like being in a moving postcard! We have a perfect chocolate cream eclair like dessert. Luigi brings us a shot of limoncello, a wonderful lemony liquer. She is staying at the same hostel, joins us at our table for the last 30 minutes, and we escort her on a shortcut down steps home. The views are something you'd want on your honeymoon. Just so perfect. Thank-you, Judge for finding this for us, man!
After she sees our room, I take a shower as J goes with her out to the patio below. I am back to typing listening to Andrea Bocelli on iBook, feeling this wonderful gratitude for such a perfectly wonderful day. Somehow any worries have simply vanished.
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Oatmeal and coffee again, J sleeping, warmer and more humid today, can tell already. I wake him up from a non-restful sleep at 8 (he read Bill Bryson for a few hours 3am) and at 8:30 we are walking back down into town again. Really warming up. I mention/talk like Raymond in Rain Man, and J is surprised, as he knows the real Raymond! Wow! We took a warm bus down the big hill to the train station, bought that InterCity train pesky supplementi for 10E and departed on time at 9:50. Had a compartment initially all to ourselves, and both of us are thoroughly disgusted with filthy windows that looked like they'd not been cleaned in years! In an hour we were at Messina, where they cut off the engine, and shoved our 4 cars together with the Palermo section onto a ship, and soon we were off the car in the bowels of the ship and about 6 floors up to watch the views. Water is deep blue, with blackish jellyfish in it together with the regular Italian trash. It backed out and turned around for the mainland. A first for J. Fun.
The combined train pretty much ran right up the western coastline, nice, but clouded because of the dirty windows that continue to anger us. It has gone from arid to green landscape. Nice on my eyes. Our train moved at a good clip for hours, and at arrival time, we came into a station, and got off, but seeing this was not Salerno, hopped right back on again! Another 10 minutes we did arrive, and then started the bus escapade. Where do you get the bus? Went to information building, bus outside station, tickets inside, found it finally, hard to identify really... and agent sells us two passes. "Change the bus at Amalfi" he says. Being suspicious, asked if there wasn't a Ticket we could buy instead of the passes. Agent said with a look that said "I might be lying here" said "no". We are sure we each paid about $6 extra for something we did not need but were lied to about. I had a fast call of nature there at the station just before the bus leaves. We all just piled onto the bus after shoving our bags in underneath. Bus filled up and we began a 2 hour trip of weaving and horn-tooting around curves overlooking the mountainous coastline and villages. J, already with an unhappy stomach, is not taking this trip too well, it's hot, the weaving, and it's crowded.
We bail off just short of the Amalfi bus station, and wait 30 minutes for our next bus. We talked with this guy from Melbourne and a short young Dallas guy. Our bus is ready, and it's even warmer, and standing room only packed in there like sardines. ridiculous, but I'm having fun with it, enjoying the coastline views. At one point I looked back and J has his head down on the back of a chair in discomfort. I make my way up to the driver and ask him about the "second stop in Positano" the hostel says to be sure to get off at. Of course, he is clueless and offers an exit right now with the others getting off here in Positano. It doesn't look right, we are in the middle of a horseshoe curve with nothing really close, he shrugs his shoulders kindly and closes the door. A guy sitting up front says to me, "You are looking for the youth hostel?" YES! He says next stop, a lot of people will be getting off there. Whew, thank goodness for helpful people like him just when you need them. My suitcase underneath has slid to the other side, and have to crawl under to retrieve it. I had gestured to the driver gripping imaginary bags so he wouldn't shoot off too soon.
We walked a short distance to Hostel Brikette and climbed many steps to the office. A plump New Zealand gal checked us in. She seemed out of it, and exceptionally lazy. Claimed that we were really for 3 nights but now are trying to change it to 2. When I showed her the confirmation of this by e-mail it had no effect. She showed us our room of 20 beds, looked like they were all in a cave, J didn't like, and upgraded us to a private room further upstairs. Wireless we were both so looking forward to doesn't work. Only one toilet has toilet seat on it in the entire place! Is this Peru? J's book says breakfast included. It's not. Girls here said ordered dinner here, had to wait till 8:30 and for 5Es was just Rice! It's like pulling teeth for information. Girls say this is the worst hostel they've ever been to. It's a stunning view and the only hostel around, but no excuse for poor service! We walked to a grocery store, got some dinner, came back and ate on the patio, which does offer a truly wonderful view of the Med and mountain, this is very good. I get a wad of toilet paper to clean our filthy dirty table. The staff of 4 is having a feast dinner together, one guy is packing a hand gun J notices!
We stay up late reading and talking. Then we hear kind of a crash. Later I get up to use the WC and come back laughing because the noise we heard was the shower curtain that has fallen down! Goofy place! J is sunburned on the top of his head.
JudgeDredd says:
What a day that was and what a crazy hostel!!
Posted on: Oct 05, 2008
Positano Hostels review
Lazy and unfriendly staff, no promised internet for the 2 days there in May. NO TOILET SEATS. Other hostelers complained saying it was their worst hos… read entire review
photo by: Eric