We have enjoyed a lovely few days in Luarno. Not that the weather has been glorious, most mornings have the mountains shrouded in fog and when this cleared the wind blew up fiercely on several afternoons. On the one relatively still day there was a sea fret and last night the rain fell in sheets for hours on end. No the place itself is enchanting and between the episodes of bad weather the sun comes out and the beaches fill up.
We have established a small routine. We head out to do our shopping in the morning and stop for a coffee outside the same place in the little square. They know what we order now and bring us a complimentary shared croissant filled with apricot jam. We go to the bakery and usually mess up their arcane system of taking a ticket, ordering when the number comes up and then taking it over to the separate till to pay. Finally we treat ourselves in the fresh pasta shop. They remember us in here too and give us the right amount for two people, tell us the cooking time and which of their fresh sauces will be best to then pour over it. Then we take all these goodies back to Lyra and decide what to do next.
There are some caves inland, but we have yet to work out how to go there. We have looked in on the circular church under its big black dome, a sort of colloquial Pantheon, but just for the one deity. We have watched quite a bit of football. Some on our own TV and some in the family run sports bar with the palette tabletops. For the England – Wales match we were the sole spectators. At half time one of the staff on his way home suggested we should bring Vardy on, all in Italian, but we did not need an interpreter. Thankfully we won and could leave with our heads held high. We also watched the first half of Italy – Sweden there, but this felt more of a family and friends gathering and we came away at half time in case they lost. A foolish notion really, only England pulls strokes like that.
Today we said goodbye to our regular haunts. At the coffee house after our latte macchiatos we bought ground coffee for on board. The proprietor explained the need for different grades of coffee depending on the various machines used to make it; it was best made in a Bialetti machine like Johnsey’s. He struggled to think of the English word for ‘Finnes’, ‘Fine’ said I, which made him shake his head and laugh at himself. His wife brought over the bag to let me inhale the smell before she sealed it. ‘Lovely aroma’ I agreed, ‘Ah, here A Roma is a football team from the South’ he joked. Then they gave me a big packet of Amaretti biscuits to go with our coffee, so we would remember them. So kind. In the pasta shop we bought dried trolfi to take home for the girls and some of the wonderful homemade buffalo mozzarella for tea. Tomorrow we head out across the bay with happy memories of the people we have met here.