Saturday, 25th June
Castiglione della Pescaia -
Grosseto - Orbetello - Civitavechia
Eat, Drink, Plan, Go!
Awoken from the slumber we join others for the usual continental breakfast, it’s like eating bird food and desert...in the morning. Weird huh? Just throw me some cornflakes or a full English breakfast and I’ll be happy. So, anyway...
We sit outside and enjoy breakfast, probably the most awkward part of sleeping in a building full of strangers. Slamming doors, banging walls, creaky floorboards and the sound of chains or tape ripping I can handle from strangers...but, the breakfast awkwardness. Eat, drink... go. Or what we seem to do is, eat, drink, pretend to plan our exciting day because our day is more exciting than the others..but plan our exciting day by talking quietly so the others won’t know how much more exciting our day is going to be...probably just as well, because we didn’t know how exciting today would turn out to be.
Aimee does her duty, pays the bill while I do my manly duty of carrying all the baggage in one go. If I fall, it’s ok lads....I will drag em!
My baggage restraining is getting better! I will forget how to do this the next time we go journey.
Hunt for Icecream
Off we go! We begin our journey to Orbetello for an icecream. For some bizarre reason during our plan pretending I took the plan into reality. Breakfast plans are never usually adhered to, are they?
So anyway, we didn’t actually plan how we were supposed to get out of this region. There are 2 roads that lead to Grosseto, which is our way out to Civitavecchia. We head down a nice road which takes us through forest and lots of people are up and about at 9am walking and enjoying the air. We continue and hit open country road which has advertisement billboards every 10metres or so... we must have passed 200 of them, very distracting. The only one that I remember was an advert about beer...
We pass policemen waving traffic on. A few miles down the road is Grosseto and its labyrinth of roads with misplaced signs! Up and down the gears, twisting and turning we head out of Grosseto and into more open country roads... We pass policemen waving traffic on, haha this was funny cos we saw 2 policemen on the other road but on the other side of the road. Wait, what..?! Yes, well done Kriston, well done Grosseto council... you sent me back the way we came. We kept going straight and turned off in the middle of the forested area. This was a shorter route to Grosseto.
Back in Grosseto, we again get lost and had to stop a few times to wonder just where the hell we are. Being a foreign rider, this gives me a degree of license to break some rules of the road to get onto certain roads. After 30 minutes riding around sweating, we manage to ‘head out on the highway’ and towards Orbetello.
As we arrive here, I realised it was a Saturday and all pretty seaside towns will be very busy, this was no exception. It was a slow ride to the centre. We park up next to all of the wimpy scooter/mopeds, while Aimee guarded the bags I wandered off to find somewhere to eat/drink. It looks strangely quiet, but it is all happening the street parallel. Get Aimee and we sit down at a Tea cafe...of all the places... today is not the time for a hot tea! Locals are really giving us both funny looks with our jackets, leathers and boots. I feel like a spaceman!
After sitting at the table for 3 minutes, we decide to ditch the Tea and try hit an icecream... none... Finding an icecream should not be this hard! We decide instead to just get to our destination of Civitavecchia.
Riding around this town, I realise it is very nice with its inner city walls and gates, shame we only stopped for 30minutes.
Heading out, we had a slight altercation and a horn beeping moment. An Italian driver pulled out on me, but avoided any collision.
Civitavecchia, “Mothers that smell of almonds”
We turn off and head towards the city. The road leading in is long and hardly any traffic. In the distance you can see container cranes and ships in port. We meander in, and find buildings and life. We park up opposite a cafe, now I get emotional and stroke the bike thanking her for getting us here safely – I must admit there was a tear welling up. I think the emotion was compounded by the fact our journey was almost over! We head up and chill while watching the bike.
The cafe is run by Romanians I am assuming, very nice staff and I have fun ordering in Italian. They of course do not know what the hell I am saying with my crazy Isle of Man accent. But I repeat a few times and they get it. I go the bar and ask for ice, in Italian. She laughs at my Italian and I ask her to repeat so I can say it properly. A polite smile swept her face as she knew I was making an effort. Remember, even if you cant speak a language, just try....the locals will like it even if they know not of what you speak. Unless of course you accidentally say “You’re mother smells of almonds and you are a goat”
After relaxing for 2 hours we head off, I could sit there all day!
Getting to the port is quite easy, just follow the signs which do work ok and collect your toll ticket – you don’t ned to use it. It must be to stop drivers parking for days and not actually travelling on a ship.
We find a building at the end, where we ask a port worker who spoke ‘English’ and was really helpful. He explained that the platform number was 2. We ride off for platform 2, nearby is a cafe with icecream! At journeys end we achieve another goal. There is a nice breeze blowing through as we relax with our boots off.
Now, I did a very silly thing, booked the ship without a cabin. I booked 2 pullman seats, Aimee gave me that look. And I was trying to find a phone number, but found none. So, I wandered off to find the terminal building as there must be one around here. After 30 minutes I find it a good 400metres away, go in and find the ferry operator booth which is closed. Head back and drag Aimee to the terminal as i don’t speaka Italian. We cannot book cabins there, but she does give us boarding passes. It was lucky we went because like the UK and other ports you just need the printed paper.
|Kriston and Mark|
Eventually we are allowed into the holding area, where we grab some pics and chat more. The port staff lose a key for the gate lol!
We park the bike onboard and make a move for the restaurant area, with the exception to the cabins this is where it all happens! A canteen with a bar in the middle. Right now we are anxiously waiting for the canteen to open, we are hungry! We purchased the meals online and had tokens. To get the most out of the tokens read the notice/menu halfway down canteen. Food is actually quite nice!
We eat, and wait for the ship to start moving when apparently we could book our cabin.
Booked, cards released and we do not hesitate at all to get to the room. Aimee enters first, and I follow. We notice a bag and I notice 3 mobiles on the table. Aimee concluded we must be sharing, a daunting prospect. But I insist we should leave, 3 phones, 3 of 4 bunkbeds open...we were given the wrong keycards! Just at this realisation, the door opens with a somewhat confused and angered Sicilian with his posse. Think of a pitbull with teeth bared, this is what this grumpy short hairy guy looked like...for a minute I thought he was Maltese...lol, Aimee corrected me.
We head back to the reception and Aimee amusingly explains the situation with an angry pitbull following and waving arms...Didn’t know dogs had arms... What do you call them? I suppose they are legs, but if dogs were to walk like humans would we eventually call the front legs ‘arms’? ...anyway... Attendant printed out new cards and checked the room before we entered.
Ahhhhhhhh!! Relax! A hard foam bed never felt so good! Yet slightly nervous that some stranger will enter our room, I put the bags against the door.
We could not starfish in this room, bad times. So we got into beds and decided on sleep. There was an annoying ‘hisssssssss’ coming from above. Turn on light and notice there is a metal rod stuck in the ventilator. I remove hoping the hissing would stop, no joy I even pushed the flaps down...ah well...
We manage to drift off to a sleep.