Well, I’ve been here a week (that’s Italy if you just signed in). World cup fever has started to die down, although flags are still flying from almost every window. I was told by an Italian that they hardly very fly their flag and it would only be seen on boats and important buildings. Now even scooters have flags!
I’m now in Genoa, supposedly the best place to find work on Super Yachts in Italy. I’m staying in a great youth hostel that is miles up a windy road on top of a hill. It has fantastic views of the city below. You can see the harbour and lighthouse and most of the old town and it is also quieter (and cheaper) than staying in the town centre. On my first night here I ended up staying in a 2 star sh¨t hole of a place that cost me 70 Euros. This place is only 15 Euros, with the loo and showers down the passage, eight bunks per room (over 220 beds), free breakfast (a bread roll with prune jam!), clean sheets, a very helpful lady at reception, a locker you can lock your bags in and other fun travellers (mostly I-ties).
I met this crazy Englishman who had just come from running with the bulls in Pomplona and had the pictures to prove it. We got on really well and managed to find a bar down the road that sells 2 Euro big beers, a bargain – as the price varies from 2 to about 5 Euros for various sized beers when you get to the touristy places.
John (the Englishman) is a master at chatting up people and managed to find two English girls (Clare and Lucy) to join us on a trip to Cinque Terre (five villages). This was quiet a trip as we all had hangovers, had to catch a slow train for about 2 and a half hours, and then walk from village to village along a rugged coast line. It was absolutely fantastic and a real highlight of my trip so far. See the pics. It starts really easy and the first two villages fly by, but then the going gets tough, steeper, more rugged, more heat/humidity and you start to run out of water. By the fifth we had lost Clare – well left her to catch a train to the last village – and at about 6.30 stumbled into the village for an orange juice with soda (No we weren’t’ up for beers – had those latter) We got back to the Ostello (Italian) at 12,30 am with dirty feet, sweaty bodies and big smiles for surviving the Cinque Terre.The first bend after terra one (Riomaggiore), the path is still paved!
Manarole, the second village, winds through these buildings and down to the sea.
We had lunch at Corniglia and then the walking got tougher.
Magic view of Vernazza, village number four, you can see we had to walk up again!
Monterosso in the distance. The train station was right at the end. Oh No!
The lads drinking orange juice with soda water. Very refreshing.
John and the girls left today and I decided it was time to get on with my job search. I’m looking to work as a deck hand (or similar) on one of these SUPER Yachts. Basically a mini cruise ship – 25 to 65m on average, some even bigger. Some have helli pads, swimming pools, and gyms (I saw a chap on an exercise bike peddling up a storm going nowhere); all have bars, luxury on suit cabins, flat screen TV’s every where, 5 star food (with staff to serve it) and a fleet of water sport activities (jet skies, motorboats, windsurfing and the list goes on – if you can think it they got it).
So I was off to Portofino, a small village right on the coast that I’d heard had a few of these monsters floating about. Armed with my new business cards and sense of adventure I headed out. A real mission, but fun, a train ride to Santa Margherita and then a ferry to Portofino. Managed to find a bout 10 of these boats, four in Santa Margherita and six in Portofino (which is amazing as it is less that a quater the size of Santa Margherita). I spoke to everyone and not even one boat would take my snazzy card. They were all fully crewed and didn’t even need someone to scrub the portholes! But I will not give up! I’m out early tomorrow to find work. Until then wish me luck! Ciao.
Girls eating ice cream in Portofino, watching a big super yacht called XS!