Sunday morning and the heat ripples in visible waves on the pavement in front of us. The town is crowded with daytrippers and the beach looks busy and hot. Skye and I walk hand in hand up the road and sigh with relief when Carlo arrives on his motorino and picks us up. We've been invited for lunch at a friends house and we know it is going to be fun. This is the view from her terrace:
Inside the villa we prepare lunch and pack it into bags with some bottles of wine and water. Then we make our way down through the villa's gardens to the sea where there is a little terrace with a table and some sun loungers. We eat and drink with enthusiasm, feeding tidbits to the two dogs that watch our every move. Skye eats quickly and then waits patiently for the signal that we are finished. Finally, we get up from the table and she bounds down towards the sea for a swim, followed closely by the dogs.
Carlo dives into the clear water and takes Skye on a small adventure to the outcrop of rocks nearby. The afternoon is spent lazing around on the sunbeds and dipping into the sea to cool off. Later we move up to one of the lush green gardens with grass and clover scattered with rose petals fallen from a small pagoda. We lie on the grass under the shade of the bougainvillea, slapping away mosquitos while Skye and the dogs run around happily. A large yacht anchors nearby and we wonder who it belongs to and where they have sailed from.
As the sun starts to lower itself behind the mountain we say goodbye to our friends and agree to visit again soon. Carlo goes back to work and Skye and I walk back towards town. We stop off to visit our new friend, the lady who has come back to visit after 37 years and end up walking back into town for dinner together.
We talk about the past and how the town has changed over the years. I love hearing her stories of life here in the sixties and hope she will tell me more. There is a slight drama outside the restaurant when a man suddenly collapses onto the road. An ambulance is called, his legs are raised and ice is placed on his chest. Eventually he comes round and the ambulance whisks him away.
We finish our dinner and make plans to meet in a couple of days. We walk home, it is dark, the shops are closing, people are dressed up for the evening, showered and clean. We still have our bikinis on under our clothes, we are sticky with suncream and sea salt and tired too. Back home, she falls asleep within a minute of climbing into bed, possibly thinking about what tomorrow will bring.