Farewell to the mother ship

Today Eden Roc Hotel closes for the winter. Like most businesses in Positano that rely on the tourist trade, the winter months are simply not worth being open for.  It also gives the staff who have worked virtually non-stop since Easter a well deserved break.

For us, being completely selfish, this means losing our favorite evening drinks spot, a place we can have a chat with the staff that we now call friends, and a place for a meal – quick and easy when we can’t be bothered cooking at the villa or long and delicious when we have visitors and we want to showcase some fine Italian cuisine.

It’s also means no more lazy breakfast which comes, of course, with the theatre that is Tony’s impecable service and his world-beating cappuccino.

Although we weren’t staying at the hotel we have been treated like guests.  As someone put it, our room is just a little further along the corridor than the others.

With the hotel closing we are left to fend for ourselves for a week until we leave Positano next Tuesday.  Having said that the lovely Carmine has given us contact phone numbers in case we need anything and Tony has threatened to call in and say hello. It would be lovely if he did but sadly I don’t think our cappuccino would impress him overly.

Last night we went to the hotel for a farewell drink. Jean has yet to find a chardonnay that matches the quality of the one the hotel serves by the glass and this would be her last chance to relax and enjoy it.

As with all great evenings the chardonnay seemed to taste a little better than usual and we passed the time chatting to Carlo and perfecting our Italian.  The phrase “altro giro” (another round) was used frequently and Carlo’s stock of chardonnay looked in grave danger of not making it to the cellar for winter.

The hotel owner Dominic Casola called in for a few minutes which was a surprise and a treat. Dominic has been ill for over a year and is only slowly recovering. His two sons now run the hotel.  He pointed out that his older son Rafaelle was, at that moment, entertaining the Mayor of Positano at the next table in the bar and that Rafaelle was now on the Positano town council.

After a farewell limoncello or two we said our goodbyes to Eden Roc and wandered, well more staggered, home to the usual rapturous welcome from the girls.

Today’s been a quiet day at Villa Greta. We aren’t as young as we once were and a night out takes it’s toll. And there’s nothing like a wee nap in the afternoon to recover. Sleep well girls.

Ok, so someone help me out here

Today was a beautiful day – that’s it in the photo above.  The weather was stunning – warm enough in the sun to sunbath. No wind and, once the sun went down, cool but not chilly.

So here’s my problem.  I always figured that Italy was much closer to the equator than New Zealand and that’s what determined the hot, hot summers and milder winters when compared to home. I always thought that Positano must be on a similar latitude to, say, Brisbane in Australia. It made sense to me.

But then I checked the facts.

The latitude of Positano is 40° 37′ N. The latitude of Wellington is 41° 19′ S. That’s almost identical. In fact Paekakariki is 40° 37′ S which is identical. (For non-kiwi readers Paekakariki – pronounced Pie-car-car-reeky – is a very small coastal community about 40kms north of our home town Wellington.)

In theory Positano in November and December should have the same weather as Paekakariki in May and June. Now, I’m not wanting to upset the lovely people of Paekakariki but this isn’t the case.

Thoughts?