Monday, June 23, 2008
4 Dips on a Trip
Well, there were two of us: Jacob and I. The conference in Lecce was over and it was Sunday, Father's Day and we didn't have a nickel to spare. "Here's what I want for Father's Day, Jacob," I said as we loaded our things in the little rented Nissan. "We are in Puglia and we have to drive through Molise and Abruzzo to get to the region where Ancona is - Le Marche. How about we stop in each of the four regions today and jump in the sea?"
Jacob was a bit confused, but quickly came to understand and embrace the idea. So we did it. I'm partial to Le Marche - stunning beauty here - but Puglia really is beautiful. We drove away from the 'resort' where the conference was held and quickly stopped at our first Dip.
Dip #1 Puglia
Location: Torre dell'Orso
Summary: We parked our car in front of a closed-up apartment and changed into our trunks. We walked about 50 metres and arrived at the point where there was a set of stairs carved or paved into the short cliff face. I asked someone sitting in the sun, "Com'e' l'acqua?". He replied, "Not bad, once you get in." He was right. Down a few more steps into the incredibly clear water onto soft white sand...it was divine. Jacob and I swam around for just a few minutes, looking at a couple of caves in the cliffs around us. Clean, clear, deep - great experience.
Dip #2 Molise
Summary: We stopped and got some fresh bread and mortadella and Jacob made us some delicious sandwiches as we sped along the Italian autostrada - we kept an average speed of about 145 km/h. We finally crossed the border into Molise and stopped at Termoli, quickly making our way toward the water. We finally found a place, near the port and parked near a bunch of campers. We had to hike about a 500 metres to the water which was brown. The sand was dirty and the port was too close. We had to wade out quite a ways in order to get completely wet (that was the rule - had to get our heads wet). The only saving grace was that a ferry passed by as we got in sending some pretty cool waves our way. We hobbled back to the car, feet dirty, shivering and raced on to the next.
Dip #3 Abruzzo
Summary: We didn't drive too far into Abruzzo before the highway again came close to the sea. We got off and drove into the little town of Pineto and found the beachfront road. We pulled over in front of a restaurant and ran across the manicured beach into the water. The sun was setting as I coaxed a shivering Jacob a little deeper. The water wasn't very clear, but the setting and depth were better. We ran back to the car, drawing some stares from people out for a pre-dinner walk and were off to our last stop.
Dip #4 Marche
Summary: Yes, it was dark. Yes, it was less than 30 minutes from home. And yes, we did it. We stopped at one place first, but as we got out, we noticed the neon markers indicating there were several fishermen busy. Not wanting to get tangled in their lines we arrived at a different spot where one lone fisherman was a ways down from us. We parked 20 meters from the water. By this point, we were still wet and our towels were soaked. We walked across the rocky beach and I jumped in. Jacob got in to his knees (it gets deep quick and it was DARK!) and dipped his head under the water. It was quick but beautiful. Sirolo illuminated Monte Conero to the north showing us the way home. We dried off quickly (barely since the towels were saturated) and drove home to our 3 H's - Heather, Haven and Harrison.
Only regret: didn't have a camera!!!