DM and MM's Italy Trip Diary

Day 20 - Stromboli to Lipari

Friday, 18 May, 2001

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We planned the day to be taken easily after the exertions of the night before. We had the receipt for our boat tickets back to Lipari at 11:50. By 09:30 or so when we were packing and dusting off our shoes and socks on the balcony outside our room, the proprieter came out and asked when we would be leaving, as he had to have our room cleaned. I said dieci minuti and we quickly organised ourselves to go.

We walked slowly down the main street to the port, stopping at the supermarket to buy some supplies for the day. We made it to the port just before 10:00, meaning to leave our bags and wait somewhere shady for the boat to Lipari. When we put our bags down I went to the ticket office for the ferry company and exchanged the receipt for two tickets. The woman at the office told me in hectic Italian (which thankfully I knew enough of to understand the meaning) not to wait, the boat was arriving now and would leave at 10:00. We dashed over and made it just as the last few passengers were getting aboard. Several of the people on the climb last night were catching the same boat, and we wondered how they knew about it, since no timetable we ever saw mentioned one leaving at 10:00.

The hydrofoil took us to Panarea, then Salina, where we were instructed to change boats for one to Lipari. We waited in the precious shade of a rare shelter built on the wharf. While waiting we saw the man who had to pull out of the climb last night, and spoke to him for a while. He and his wife were German-speaking Swiss, and he said he was used to long walks but the pace of the climb last night was simply too much for him to keep up with, but he was glad he went as far as he did.

After 15 minutes or so waiting, a catamaran pulled in and we boarded for the trip to Lipari. I was not feeling very well at this time, with some headache and a feeling of feverishness, and the rocking of the boat made me fear seasickness, so I concentrated on the horizon through the windows and managed to emerge okay when we landed at Lipari.

Our first task was to head back to Affitacamera Villa Rosa and make sure we still had a room and our backpacks. On the way, we noticed a Lavanderia sign, indicating a laundry where we could possibly wash some of our supply of increasingly dirty clothes. Poking our noses in, it appeare to be a place where you leave clothes and the man there washes and dries and even irons them for you. I asked how much it cost to wash a bag of clothes and he replied LIT35,000 for 5 kilos. (It took me some time to work out that kili was the plural of kilo in Italian.) Expensive, but necessary, especially after our dirty trip up Stromboli.

When we arrived at our accommodation, he old woman was not there, but another woman knew who we were when we mentioned we had left backpacks, and gave us the key to the same room we'd had two nights ago. Our bags were still in there, pretty much where we'd left them. Having had a poor night's sleep last night after our climb, we simply rested in our room until a bit after 16:00. Michelle had noticed the laundry re-opened at 16:30 after siesta, so we planned to show up with our dirty laundry then. We did so, and everything was fine (he even looked at the amount of laundry and said the price would be only LIT30,000) until I asked what time we could pick it up. He answered "domani", tomorrow. I said "dobbiamo avere oggi", we must have it today. He looked at us begrudgingly for a second then told us to come back at 20:00.

Next stop was the ferry ticket office where we wanted to book the 08:30 boat back to Milazzo for tomorrow morning. This boat was run by the competing company to the one we had used so far. I asked for the tickets and the man at the office said the 08:30 boat might not run tomorrow - he couldn't tell us one way or the other. Not wishing to waste time figuring out in Italian what was going on, I moved to the window next door and booked us tickets on the 07:45 boat with our usual company, with no problem.

Still feeling feverish, perhaps from a dose of heatstroke, I tried a chocolate gelato from a place on the main street as we headed back to our room. We also stopped for more groceries, intending to make ourselves dinner on the porch in front of our room instead of going out for more pasta again. We bought the softest bread we could find, which was in the form of panini rolls - softish but very dry. It seems to be almost impossible to get soft bread in Italy. Edam cheese slices and speck were added as well to go on the bread. Further down the street we stopped at a fruit shop for apples and tomatoes.

We ate a simple dinner sitting at the table outside our room. A pleasant luxury almost after a steady diet of restaurant food. Afterwards we rested in our room again until 07:45 when we left to pick up our laundry. By this time I was very feverish and just wanted to sleep, but we got our laundry which was lovely and clean. After returning once more to our room we packed our bags for tomorrow so we could get away quickly.

As we entered the residence, we spotted the old woman and made it clear to her that we were catching the 07:45 boat to Milazzo the next morning and wanted a lift in her van at 07:15, so we would have time to pick up some breakfast. I think she said that would be fine.

I was feeling awful by this time, and Michelle helped me rest and cool down by bringing wet towels to lay over my forehead and eyes as I tried to sleep.


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