It´s time to go there, to hike around, to spot the details, to meet Salvatore, to swim into the bay… Thus, Domenico, Francesco, Macchia (Francesco´s little dog), Elza, Radek and I (Nuria) go to spend the afternoon at Ieranto bay. During the walk Domenico asks us to pay attention to ten different things, those we would like to know more about… at the end of the day he will solve our doubts.
While trekking both Domenico and Francesco explain to us a lot of things about the mountain, the way of living here in the old days, agriculture, soils, fossils… In our way we find a lot of signals that give us hints about how life was some years ago in this part of Naples: how people used the mountain and the sea to survive… A way of living that it is now obsolete.
Actually this is a special place in the peninsula. While being touristic destination, it conserves the charm of the past; there are not buildings, just some old houses, so people can enjoy the nature. We pay attention to the flora. It seems that some of the trees do not want to be awaken in the most tourist period of the year, and they prefer to sleep in summer when the weather is more extreme and return with their leaves and flowers in September when people go back from holidays to their routine lives.
Carbonate soils led to the formation of a special mountain with many caves eroded by the sea and the wind. These soils retain water that a lot of microorganisms use to survive.
A sign hanging from an old door reminds us that this was the place where Norman Douglas started to write the book Siren Land in 1908 describing this part of the world.
We walk until Ieranto bay, but first we stop to meet Salvatore, a “pirate” who runs an amazing place with an incredible view to the bay from where you can spot Capri Island at the horizon. He seems very friendly and gives us cold water straight from a well inside his house.
Finally we get to a pebble beach to snorkel. Before exploring the sea, Domenico and Francesco find some strange thing at the shore: eggs from a marina snail (Janthina exigua) they are a nice surprise, as it is something new for the rest of us.
Then all of us, even Macchia, go into the sea to get a better glimpse of the life we can find in this beautiful place. Soon we see jellyfishes, muraenas and other fishes, posidonia seagrass, starsfishes, ctenophora, anemones, corals, bivalves, marine polychaetes… another world is under the sea and seeing all of this makes me think a great sentence: “it does not mind how long you walk or how high you climb, if you want to see more than the 70% of the world, you have to take a look underwater”.
After a couple hours we get back, a bit more tired but knowing a lot more about all of the things that this part of Italy can show us. Before arriving to Nerano, Salvatore gives us some coffee and some smiles that make us stronger for the road. Once in Nerano we get to in Franco’s bar to talk about all the things we have seen.
Radek, Elza and I make questions about trees, fruits, animals, human signs… that Domenico solves for us. With a lot of new information we finally go back home after a really good day, being happy to be in such a great place and knowing that we have the opportunity to further explore it in the coming months.