Catching up again

June 5, Sorrento, Italy.

We took a chance on the weather and went to Capri yesterday, and it turned out to be a good choice. It was sunny and warm all day. From the crowded port area we rode the funicular up the hill to find more crowds, but a higher class of stores. Not wanting to shop we bought a map and followed a trail around the end of the island. Of course we got lost several times, but we finally found our view. The return trip entailed climbing about 1,000 steps, so by the time we were back at the top of the hill we were hot and tired, in a way that only gelato could cure.

We thought about taking the bus to Anacapri, but assumed it would end up being more of the same, so instead we took the ferry back to Sorrento and got caught in another rainstorm. In less that five minutes we were soaked through, not to mention our campsite.

I was disappointed in Capri. Not that it wasn't beautiful--it is. But it's also just like the last town and the next town and the town after that. I used to think travel and tourism were positve things, but I begin to have my doubts. Does it really matter if you buy your Ferregamos in Capri, Cairo, or Cancun? Because in many ways now, they are all interchangeable.

I'm glad we didn't go to Anacapri. I'd rather hold my own picture of it; something like this: a small white village climbing haphazardly up the mountain. We walk into the village square. There's a fountain and bouganvillea, and a cafe with a half-dozen tables tucked around the base of two old olive trees. A small grocery is dark and cool, with unknown brands staring from the shelves. Are these cookies or crackers? Let's try them. What kind of cheese is this? Oh, it comes from the neighboring village? Can I taste? Okay, we'll have some of that too.

The panaderia also beckons, but we avoid that temptation and retire to the cafe for a cool drink. Women wander across the square, carrying their morning shopping. There's a man with a donkey too, and a group playing bocci across the way. A couple of backpackers take a seat nearby, but mostly it's just the natives here, and not a t-shirt shop in sight.