Monday, 5 August 2013

Boat tour of Capri, with the Blue Grotto

For 59 euros, we went on a boat tour of the island.  It lasted an hour and a half and included a detour by row boat into the Blue Grotto.  We departed Marina Grande at 10 am, and headed east first then ultimately in a clockwise direction around the island.  We passed peaks that reached for the sky, rocky cliff faces with sheer drops into the sea, bushy areas, tiny settlements, the island's only lighthouse, grand hotels with exclusive restaurants all on their own in the bush, and isolated properties.  We passed a town.  Not sure what it was.  We passed a statue of a guy called Gino, waving his arms.  We were told he was very happy because......he was not married.

All the while, we passed boats of varying sizes, small sail boats, the odd rubber dingy, as well as large yachts.  Not long after we set sail, we passed the area we reached yesterday, and realised we had come a fair distance.  The Two Apostles we encountered yesterday afternoon are actually Three Apostles.  We couldn't see the third yesterday because our vantage point didn't allow it.  One of the Apostles had a natural arch, and we sailed through the arch, which I videoed.  A couple of times, we pulled in for closer looks at points of interest.  Inside some cave was a stalagmite that resembled the Virgin, apparently.  I couldn't really see it.  A rock perched high above looked like an elephant's trunk, we were told.  Mmm, yes OK.  

I estimated about 65 people were on board, and commentary was provided in Italian and English.  It was a very hot morning, but pleasant to be riding the waves on the sea.  When the boat pulled in close to the rocky walls of the island, it was interesting to appreciate the shallowness and the very bright, light blue colour of the water.  There were large square-shaped rock slabs about 10 metres beneath the surface.  They were so clear, and the water so blue, I really fancied just diving in.

Eventually, we reached the Blue Grotto.  Here, our boat had to queue behind other boats, and, finally, we transferred to small row boats with capacity for about three passengers.  Then, an oarsman rowed us the short distance to a hole in the rocky wall.  Many row boats, with passengers aboard, queued for the entry to the grotto.  When our turn came, we had to lie down, lest our heads would bash against the top of the hole.  Once inside, a large, dark cave opened up.  Looking back, the entry hole was as bright as the staircase to heaven, and the waters a magic blue.  My i-pad camera didn't do the scene justice.  All the Italian oarsmen broke into 'O sole mio', and it was a very entertaining few moments.  Soon, we were back out into the light of day, boarding the bigger boat, and returning to Marina Grande.

Jean felt a little unwell, but recovered soon.  A French woman also was unwell.  She went running to the boat's edge to vomit.  Two women behind us leaned against the back of our chair in an aviation brace position for quite some minutes, not feeling the best.  Someone else was sick too apparently.  I must be a better sailor than I thought.  I was fine.

The young, spewy French woman and her husband were actually on the train the day we went to Pompeii.  Since we've been in Capri, we've also spotted another family that was at the Pompeii train station.

Sailing round the island
Three Apostles in background
A typical scene on our boat tour
The Apostles up close
Inside the Blue Grotto
In the Blue Grotto

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