If the Boat is a Rockin'

November 22, 2005

One long day today. We had an overnight ferry to Italy booked that didn't leave until 11:00pm so we had a long day ahead of us. The wind was really strong and at around noon the clouds rolled in making for a very chilly afternoon. We stayed warm by hitting some souvenir shops and bookstores around town. Sometimes these homeless days can be difficult when the weather isn't cooperating. Eventually it got close to our departure so we grabbed our bags from the owners storage area and made our way onto the ferry. Once on board we snagged two booths with a table and got situated for the night. The boat was relatively empty compared to our ferries in Greece so most people got a chard or couchette to sleep on. As we started sailing I got comfortable and fell asleep pretty easily. About 2 hours later I was wide awake after hearing a loud thud nearby. As I cleared my eyes I saw that a man had fallen out of his chair onto another many sleeping 5 feet away. We were sailing in some major waves so people were starting to slide out of their couchettes, trash cans were rolling across the floor and others were retching into plastic bags. This continued the entire night so we didn't get much sleep needless to say. As dawn was when things got worse. During the night I could feel the waves rocking our ferry, but once I actually saw just how much we were rocking I started to get concerned. Our ferry wasn't super large but it was holding quite a few cards and trucks and probably 150 passengers. Looking at the waves we were taking on I got the impression that any boat smaller than us would've capsized. Trying to walk to the bathrooms ended up becoming a comedy act and at one point a woman fell off her couchette and slid halfway across the floor before her boyfriend reeled her in with her scarf. We were both really glad when the boat docked safely in Bari, Italy. Once in town we found a train to Rome and headed out to get some cash. As were were using the ATM we hit a snag. The machine acted as if it was going to produce our money but instead the money never appeared. Craig went inside to figure out the problem out and after 2 hours of dealing with a very hands off teller we were no where close to receiving our 400 Euro(the equivalent to $470 US) back. This wasn't a great way to start out Italian experience but we crossed our fingers that it would all work out in the end. Once in Rome we found a dorm and grabbed the free pizza the hostel was offering and fell asleep on our nice stationary bed.

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