Day 16 - Thursday 14th July 2016
We had to wake up early today and get moving quickly. Stephanie had booked to do a mountain hike so we had to be at a place called Praiano by 8:15am. On the map the town is like 25km away but there is no straight road at all, from our hotel to Praiano is all narrow windy roads some along the coastline, so we had to allow plenty of time to get there. We grabbed a bite at breakfast at 7am and soon we hit the road. We hadn't seen that part of the coastline until now. Certainly the views are amazing as usual, and we made it to the drop off point in Praiano with plenty of time to spare. We waited for the rest of her hike group to arrive, being a family of 4 from San Francisco and the guide. We then left them for their strenuous activity and heading down to find somewhere to sit and have a proper breakfast.
I've said before parking anywhere in the area is scarce, we drove back through Praiano looking for a spot to park so we could walk around but there was none. We drove back towards Positano as that was where the pick up point would be after the hike. As we drove there were cars parked at a hotel that was by the cliff side, isolated from anything else and as there were spots we quickly pulled in there. I desperately needed a toilet by then so we went into this hotel and after using the toilet asked if we could have breakfast even though we weren't staying there. It was after 9am by now but they served breakfast until 10am and for 15 euro each we sat and ate and had an awesome view of the coast and Positano. Looking over the balcony of the terrace we could see straight down to the water many metres below, I'm amazed how these were hotels were built on the edge of a cliff. All the staff were dressed in bow ties so it looked fancy, I googled it as we had wifi and rooms were $500 and over for a night. Lovely views, not sure if they had a pool, but nothing else to do there as they were miles from anything or anyone.
We took our time leaving the hotel as we had a few hours to collect Stephanie after her hike. We drove back to see where the collection point was, so we knew for later. We then decided to drive into Positano to see what was there but more so to see if we could park. The road into Positano is one way down from the main road and one way back up the other side. We drove down far enough to think we were walking distance to the beach - we had no idea how far it was, and found a parking place and left the car there. We walked downhill through the narrow street past lots of shops and tourists. We snaked through laneways and soon had found the beach below. It wasn't as crowded as I had expected and we thought that knowing we can park the car somewhere that we'd come back for a swim with Stephanie after her hike.
We walked back to the car, only there for an hour and paid 5 euro for parking - i knew it wouldn't be cheap - and we made our way out of Positano back to the collection point. We were there early so we drove up the road from where they'd all be coming down from by bus. The road kept going up and up and up, we find a little gap we could pull over and we were so high up the mountain it was almost making me dizzy! We figured we'd see the bus carrying the hikers pass us, as it was the only road there. It was only a few minutes later the bus did pass us, the hike guide saw us through the window and waved so we followed the bus down to where they dropped Stephanie off. From there we headed back to Positano and parked again and headed to the beach.
Like most beaches here there is no sand - the beach surface is all rocks. It was a hot day again and once we changed into our swimming attire and went onto the beach you could feel the heat off the rocks. Certainly walking from where we laid our towels to the water was hard, rocks under your bare feet and they were boiling! But the water was clear and refreshing, considering the amount of boats that were there and tourist activities I'd have thought the oil and gas may ruin the water. You could smell it as the boats moved around but couldn't tell looking at the water. It was a little windy so standing in the water was actually chilly. We swam a couple of times then dried off and headed towards the car but stopped first for some lunch.
We headed back to our hotel in Sorrento - this was our last night there and Vicky had wanted to do some laundry before we left but the last few days was so hectic we never had the chance. It's the earliest we got back I think around 4-5pm or so, Vicky managed two loads of washing and drying as I repackaged the luggage for tomorrow's travels. We ended up going to dinner fairly late once everything was done, some of us had ordered 2 courses but sadly for Vicky she had only ordered a steak and it was so late getting to her it was after 10pm. She was tired and hungry and the two alcoholic drinks whilst waiting for the food had made her sleepy. Once we had all eaten we headed straight to bed - not a good feeling on a full stomach - as we had an early start in the morning as we had to drives over 500kms to our next destination.