It’s not easy to leave Capri

Marina Grande, Capri by Jorge Royan


We were leaving for Palermo, taking an hour flight from Naples. I couldn’t get the boarding passes from the airline’s website straight into my phone, because the local airline we’re flying hasn’t learned how to do that. I did download the passes, but wasn’t able to print them at home, and the airline would charge an exorbitant amount to issue them at the airport. I finally sent the file to a friend at a hotel and asked her to print them. We are outside the town (Mastrillo on the map), so we would have to detour in Anacapri on the way to the port to pick them up.

We had two choices: drive to the harbor and leave the car there or take the car on one of the two daily ferries to Naples and leave the it at the airport for the week we’d be gone. Then Sal came up with option three. We’d take a taxi to the port. But since a taxi can’t navigate the very narrow and treacherous road that winds through the hilly countryside to our house, and since lugging our bags up the 88 steps to the road in the hottest part of the day was definitely not an option, Sal decided to drive me with the bags to the main road and leave me there while he took the car back home. Then he would climb up to rejoin me and the taxi he had previously ordered would pick us up there. 

I’ve been coming to Capri for more years than I care to recall, and I can count the number of times it has rained on the fingers of one hand, with some left over. Today, I added another finger while waiting on the roadside for Sal to return. Only drizzle, fortunately. It was pouring a few miles away in Naples.

We waited until it was a few minutes before the taxi should have arrived. Sal called the dispatcher to make sure the car would be on time, but after switching him from one agent to another, an agent advised Sal he could find no trace of either the reservation or the confirmation. And we had to pick up the boarding passes, fight the traffic to the harbor, make the ferry on time so we could get to the airport in time to check in and board the flight. My husband is the anxious type. You can imagine his condition.

Finally, a car came. I jumped out when we got to Anacapri and made a beeline for the hotel. The receptionist was very friendly and though the passes hadn’t been printed, she assured me I’d have them right away. Right. Right away Capri style. The slowest printer I’ve ever met seemed to print one word at a time.

We did finally make it to the ferry, to Naples, to the airport and finally, Palermo. The only mishap was Sal discovering a short while after we cleared security that his wallet wasn’t in his pocket. But the travel gods smiled down on us. The wallet was still on the floor where it had dropped.

A few hours later, we dropped into a comfortable bed in Palermo and slept soundly.

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