We are in the most upmarket marina we have ever been in – Marina di Cala Galera. We always thought of Tuscany as rolling hills, vineyards and olive groves but it has coastline, too, and the marinas are as expensive as renting a villa (enough to make a Perth Dietitian cringe at the thought)
The beach is crowded from morn-to-mosquito-time, when the sods come out in their gazillions. We can confirm this as we dinghied down to get a geocache and were almost bodily removed from the earth. A can of Mortein mightn’t have done for them all but it would have evened the odds and made me feel better.
The beach was the site of the death of Caravaggio, the Admiral’s most admired painter, and a cause of pilgrimage wherever one of his paintings is on display – of course, there are many in Rome to visit and also there is his most famous in Malta, the death of John the Baptist, a theme he painted several times.
Their boats are not shabby either, with thundering great V8 diesels filling the air on Saturday and Sunday when they come up from Rome for the weekend. A fair proportion are sailboats of considerable fitout, and the owners are no mere fancy-pants owners. They sure can handle their boats with skill, some even skidding through the anchorage outside first before heading West to the Tuscan islands for a weekend stay without a hint of a collision.
We have been in to Porto Ercole every day since being here, having been shown a shortcut up behind the naval works (they used to make boats here), around a mountain track and down onto the main road. Neat. Last night, we tried to eat at a famous pizza place but it was crowded out so we moved a couple of doors up to a restaurant we'd had lunch at a couple of days ago. Lots of beers, Aperol Spritz and simple seafood pasta dishes and we were full for the walk home back around the base of the mountain.
On our last day, we indulged in that favourite adventure of cruisers "Let's see where the bus goes to?" Buy a couple of tickets, find out when the last one back is and off you go to wherever it finishes up. Great cheap fun. We took the bus to Orbetello, the small city on a strip of land in the middle of the two lagoons. It has been a settlement since Etruscan times, 8th Cent BC. Unfortunately, the museo only opens on the weekends and public holidays so we couldn't check out the artifacts collected around there. Took the opportunity to get another Geocache and had a nice lunch in a Pizzeria that has been trading since 1958. Easy to see why they are still in business given our two meals and drinks for the grand sum of 10 Euros.
Some of you may know that I did considerable damage to my big toe in Rome several weeks ago and have been warding off infection and the like ever since. Well, the hike didn’t help matters at all so I think I’ll have to stay off it for a while now. It was also very taxing on Carol so a nice sea voyage is in the planning.