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Published: June 25th 2017
Geo: 40.6263, 14.3757
Phil and I joined a large group of KOB folks for a day trip to Capri. We met in the lobby for a bus ride to the Sorrento seaport to catch the high speed ferry for the 45 minute ride to Marina Grande on Capri. There we disembarked and immediately got in line to board another boat to sail along the north side of the island to the entry of the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra).
The sail to the Blue Grotto took about ten minutes, and we passed a number of caves in the rocky cliffs on the way. Those caves did not look like they were large enough to go into. When we neared the opening to the blue grotto, we saw two other large boats with tourists waiting their turns to enter the cave. There were also about a dozen small rowboats collecting four to six passengers each off the bigger boats and taking them into the cave. Only one boat could pass through the opening at a time. Other tourists walked down stairs on the side of the cliff to get to the rowboats for the ride inside the cave. The entry to the cave is
small, just large enough for the rowboats to pass through if the tide is low enough and the waves are not too high. After waiting and watching others climb into the boats and disappear into the cave, it was finally our chance to go, too. We boarded a rowboat with two of the Corley women and slid down into position for the ride. We had to lie down completely with heads below the frame of the boat to avoid the chance of hitting the rocks at the entry to the cave. Our oarsman motioned for us to get down; I don't think he spoke any English. We joined the line of rowboats waiting to go inside. When it was our time, the oarsman grabbed a rope hanging overhead and pulled hard on it just as the water level dropped. At the same time he leaned backward into the boat right on top of me, and we slid through the opening before the water rose again to nearly cover the opening. No helmets and no life-jackets were available, but I would have worn both if they would have been provided.
We spent five minutes or a little longer inside the cave
floating in the magnificent, icy-blue water while one of the oarsmen sang traditional Neapolitan songs. The color of the water is a vibrant blue that I have never seen before. The photos don't match the color I saw exactly, but they are fairly close. It was beautiful. We made two loops around the interior of the cave before getting in line again for the exit. There were several other boats inside the cave at the same time.
After getting safely through the exit (the same hole in the wall that was the entrance to the cave), we went back to climb on the middle-sized boat. Phil gave the oarsman a tip when we left his rowboat. They claimed that their only income was from tips and that they did not receive any of the money that we had paid as an entry fee to the cave.
When all who wanted to had finished touring the Blue Grotto and reboarded the boat, we went back to Marina Grande. This portion of the daytrip was about two hours long including all the waiting for everyone to see the inside of the cave.
Next, we took a short, mini-bus tour of the island,
driving up into the hills for a look over the island from high above. The driver dropped us off in town with instructions on where and when to meet him giving us time for a little shopping and a quick snack. We walked back to the marina with the guide and the KOB group to again board the ferry for the trip back to Sorrento.
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