Friday, June 20, 2014

Sorrento to Catania (Sicily log 0)

Yesterday (Thursday), we spent a few more hours wandering around Sorrento, and in a sense, saying goodbye to the town that we had come to love in a few short days. At 5pm, a taxi came to take us to the port of Napoli, where we would be traveling on an overnight ferry to Catania in Sicily.

We were the first people to board the ferry, having arrived almost an hour earlier than we needed to. After showing our ticket to a worker, we were directed to the fifth floor; there we found an office where our second copy of the ticket was taken. A porter led us to our cabin via a lift and a series of winding passageways, although I discovered later on an exploratory trip that we were actually very close to the office (albeit a floor up). I also discovered the dining room which would open at 8:30pm.

The cabin was small, but sufficient for two people, including small toilet and even shower. We arranged some items in the suitcases, I unpacked my CPAP machine (there are electricity sockets in the cabin) then laid down to rest until the dinner gong. Dinner was served cafeteria style which suited us fine; the food was reasonably tasty although not particularly hot. After dinner, we went back to the cabin and prepared for departure; although this was stated to be 9pm, I don't think that we left until about 9:45. After several unintelligible announcements over the tannoy (maybe they were running lifeboat drill), I started feeling lurches in my stomach which presumably were the effect of the ferry taking to the seas. These lurches, whilst not violent, were sufficient to prevent me from relaxing enough to sleep. I'm not trying to imply that I felt sick, but rather my mind was translating the movement into the feeling of being on a very modest roller coaster.

I know that I did sleep a certain amount, but I felt that I had great difficulty in getting to sleep. Ironically, I fell asleep at 5am (I had just looked at my watch) only to be woken by my wife's alarm at 5:30 - I know that I was asleep because she woke me from a dream. Theoretically, the CPAP machine can tell me how long I slept, but I suspect that it shows its activation time and does not measure sleep time. I don't have the means with me to read the memory card of the machine so this will have to wait till we get home (although I had considered inserting the memory card into the video camera and accessing it from there).

It's now 6:15 am; I can see land from my porthole although I have no idea how much longer we have to sail. After we disembark (which will probably be a long and painful process), we will find a taxi to take us to our hotel in Catania, presumably to discover that we are too early to check in. We will leave our suitcases there and go in search of somewhere to eat. Then maybe I'll be able to upload this entry.

Continuation: the ferry arrived at about 9:00 but we didn't disembark for about another hour. When we did reach dry land, we had to wait for about 15 minutes until a taxi kindly turned up which took us to our hotel. We've just checked in and naturally the first thing that I did was check the Internet connection.

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