May 15-17

May 15th

The view of Florence on waking was superb. A sea of roof tops with the Duomo rising from them like some grand Poseidon. After a swift breakfast we plunged into the city & were soon swept up by the buzz of the place. The chicks & the tourists, mopeds & the money! Me & Bryn parted company for a while, he busying himself with sketching the architectural delights while I composed poetry over a couple of cappuccinos, sat outside a cafe. ‘Waterloo’ is coming along well & I hope to be able to complete it later this month in Belgium. We took our lunch sat in the courtyard of some student campus, then packed up our tent & simply sauntered out of the campsite – great blag! The sun was just setting thro’ the Ponte Vecchio in all of its golden splendor as we made our way to the stazione.

The train to Pisa (15-2) wound thro’ Tuscany, & I was much joyed to return to the city, for it holds a special place in my heart after my sojourn there two years ago. Unfortunately, the Macchia Nera social centre in Pisa closed down 5 months ago, & is now a building site. It was quite sad really & I felt a little link to the past extinguished. Luckily, I knew of another place to crash, & we tromped by the side of the Arno to the Old Arsenal. While a very tired Bryn was sleeping I took a stroll along memory lane, calling on old busking spots & sleepin’ areas… it was surreal, but pleasant. Back at the tent I listened to the trains for a while then drifted off to sleep.

May 16th

Our funds have begun to run seriously low, so I trudged thro’ the blazing sun of a very hot day to the giant supermarket in Pisa. 20,000 lira (& three pockets) won us 4 cartons of wine, 2 baguettes, 2 tunas, 2 bananas, 2 oranges, 1 chocolate bar, a jar of jam, a jar of seafood dressin’, salami, a sausage, anchovies, bread & water. We proceeded to dine on our feast in the grounds of the leaning tower. I caught the sun while Bryn did his best sketch yet. Five hours just flew by as swift as birds & as calm as their flight.

The penultimate leg of our Continental tour dawned, & we set off, pissed as fuck. Being that drunk & so close to our departure, I let mi guard down & full of bravado set in a first-class carriage next to four chatting conductors. Unsurprisingly we were caught (15-3) but I do consider this one more of an own goal. Luckily we weren’t travelling far & got kicked off where we wanted to go… Le Spezia. It was close to sunset as we arrived & caught a bus to Portovenere. As we wound beside the Gulf di Poeti, Bryn became enchanted, as I was when I first saw these sights. We pitched the tent amid some ruins overlookin’ the Med, the 11th century church & Byron’s grotto… completely enamored to the idyllicity. After gorging on the last of our supplies we took a stroll by the harbor & passed our last night in a very amiable manner. While I fell asleep Bryn was full of poetry & climbed & scrambled all over the place, bathing in the starlight. It feels strange to return, for this place is here is where my poetic sensibility first blossomed only two years ago, but an immortal lifetime in my soul.

May 17th

Our tour’s last dawn broke over the Med & the view from the tent was sublime. After spending our last 3ooo lira on bread, plummed tomatoes & aqua, we gained enough energy to swim in Byron’s grotto. The water was cool & beautiful & while we splashed a couple of big-titted Italian chicks came down to sunbathe – a suitable send off. So, we jumped train to Genoa, & got caught on the very last train- the only official time of the tour (16-4). We had 5 hours to kill, so I checked my bank, found cash & drew out 1oo,ooo lira – wuhu! This money was soon spent on booze as we pottered around the charming centre of the city, before headin’ thro the industrial outskirts to the airport.

The flight back was cool, following the sunset, a constant glimmer of gold ahead of us. Below, the scattered clusters of lights shewed the dwellings of man & was very pretty. We returned to England in good cheer & were picked up by Gareth. In his local pub he shouted the absinths & we rolled off the choice anecdotes of the tour… it sounded pretty good! Needin’ some proper nosh I bought a kebab & headed to Buntingford to spend the night in Bryn’s mate’s caravan. Unfortunately, after a couple of reefers & some Italian wine I whiteyed, staggered out into the chilly rain & vomited dodgy meat all over the garden… thinkin,’ ‘It’s good to be home!’

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