International Travel Italy TBT

TBT: My travel obsession began in 90 degree heat (Amalfi Coast)

Hiking above Praiano
High above Praiano

Throwback Thursdays are a new feature here at asthejoeflies. They are stories from my travel experiences with zero regard to miles and points. Hopefully they inspire you, either to these destinations or beyond!

“I really don’t want to travel to multiple destinations for our honeymoon.”

In fact, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to go overseas. But my wife prevailed and we made our first of many life compromises. Three cities in Spain spread out over a week combined with one week on the Amalfi Coast, our “relaxation” week.

We rented an apartment in Praiano (no hot water, bed like sheet rock), a quiet little town tucked into the mountainside between Positano and Amalfi. We’d eat dinner until 10 PM, then walk to the plaza in front of one of Praiano’s churches, where it seemed the whole town would gather until bedtime.

The view from Praiano at dusk
The view from Praiano at dusk

We had read that there were hiking trails between the coastal towns and fancied a little stroll. So we went to the local TI and asked for a map.

“It’s about a 4 hour hike to Positano, but you’ll have to go tomorrow. Make sure you leave early in the morning to avoid the heat. It’s about 1000 steps or so.”

It was midday. We went back to the apartment. We sat. And sat. Then we looked at each other.

“What else are we going to do?”

Let's just do the thing
Let’s just do the thing

So we strapped on our backpacks and set off. About five minutes in, I realized that “1000 steps or so” did not mean 1000 or so paces as my brain had interpreted. There were stairs involved. Lots of them. So much for relaxation.

These are certainly steps and not paces.
These are certainly steps and not paces.

So we climbed, and climbed. We climbed so high that the sounds of an already quiet town completely faded away and all we could hear were the SITA buses honking at one another.

We sat by a church bell. We picked rosemary to use for dinner the next night. We sat in what little shade we could find while Jess drew the view in her journal.

Church above Praiano

We only passed one other group stupid enough to make the hike at that time of day. We were pretty dehydrated as we made the descent down to Positano. I wasn’t really into hiking at the time (still am not, though I have an appreciation for it) – so I didn’t realize that coming down is the hardest part. I was exhausted and my legs were shaking every step they hit.

When we made it to Positano, it turned out that the entire town was steps. Of course we walked to sea level – might as well at that point.

View of Positano halfway through the hike
View of Positano halfway through the hike

We settled in for dinner at Il Grottino Azzurro, the Blue Grotto. I ate fried cheese while we chatted with a solo American traveler who missed the sound of English. It was one of the best meals I have ever had.

We took the SITA bus back to Praiano – a cold shower and sheet rock never felt so good.

Two days later we made the hike in the other direction to Amalfi. Then on to Barcelona and back home. We haven’t stopped moving since.

Seven years and two kids later, I wonder if my wife realizes that she helped create this. Does she ever wonder whether she should have just let us go to Hawaii? Because now whenever I’m at home, I’m wondering where we will be visiting next.

What else are we going to do?



Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

5 thoughts on “TBT: My travel obsession began in 90 degree heat (Amalfi Coast)

  1. Cute story. 🙂 Italy is awesome. Was there anything specific about your experience with the hike, dinner, and that apartment that changed your mind twds travel? Expectations that were challenged or experiences you’d never even considered of before?

    Not sure if I’d pinpoint it as the start of a travel love for me, but I remember my first trip to London. I did not expect that I could enjoy another place so much, and how much fun I’d have exploring and meandering, away from home.

    For my points-awareness, I credit you and this blog. Can’t even recall how I first came upon it though. Providence!

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