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  • Writer's pictureAngela Erickson

The famous Blue Grotto on Capri! Check!

Okay, we are still on day 10 and as promised, here are more details about the Blue Grotto!

I am surprised at how many people back home have been to this and they did describe it to me, but I have to admit my vision of what they were telling me is not at all what I experienced. I will share some pictures and more details so you know what to expect! Now remember, like I mentioned in the last blog, we jumped right off the ferry and jumped on this open-bowed boat. It is partly our fault we didn't ask any questions. Notice in the picture that there is very little shade, and what does exist is where the driver stands and about half of the people. Well, half if you squish. Luckily, our boat was a secondary boat to the one they were originally loading, we were just the overflow.  That means ours was not nearly as crowded as they typically are.

Not understanding what was about to happen we thought it'd be very cool to sit up in the sunshine in the bow of the boat. When we arrived to the Blue Grotto after a pleasant little ride, we were a little surprised to see the 50 plus other boats all crowded around the small cave opening, not to mention the long line coming from the road down the stairs of additional people also waiting.

We watch for a while and we realize what's going to happen is that these rowers are going to come over in their little rowboats and take us into the cave. A much smaller boat than I had seen in my mind's eye as only 4 people can go at a time. We watched how they pick people up, which means you have to clamber over the side of the boat and drop into theirs. They row to the little hole in the side of the mountain, and everybody has to lay back as far as they can as they zip through a little opening using a chain the rower grabs and heaves. And then 5 minutes later, they popped back out again.

Okay, we were game, this looks fun. The captains of our boats are all communicating via radio with this main boat sitting in the bay, an office of sorts. He seems to be directing traffic and letting the captains know which order they are in to have the attention of the rowers as they all seem to tackle an entire boat, four people at a time. After a while the ladies swore that they saw many, many boats come way after us and get to go before us. It is certainly not first come, first served as I think certain tours have priority.   And don't forget the line coming down the cliff side stairs...they are moving them too, it is quite the operation and would be fascinating to watch if you are shaded and comfy.

So if you're reading between the lines here, what I'm trying to tell you is we sat in the open-bowed boat in the full sunlight with no water, no bathroom and very little sunscreen for over 2 hours before it was our turn. I was grateful I have a bladder of steel but other people on the boat were looking increasingly uncomfortable and unhappy. If you do this, just be seriously prepared for it and take lots of water with you and try to get one of the seats in the shade as you pull out of the dock.  But happily, it was our turn and we were very excited. The rowboat comes along the side, and the nice gentleman helps us shinny over the side and drop into the boat. One goes in the bow behind him and 3 of us get to sit in the stern shoved together. I was very, very grateful, cause now I'm a hot sweaty mess, that I knew the two other people that I was sharing laps with. I'm not sure they were so glad. As you can see from our pictures, it's a tight squeeze.

You also have to pay a cash entrance fee to the rower at this time. That first ticket we bought was apparently just for the boat ride over. I think it was about 7 Euros each .So we gave the rower the money and he scooted over to that office type boat. It looked like he gave them 5 euros and kept 2 per person. That must be how he gets paid to row all day. Not a bad gig. We got over to the mouth of the cave, and he tells us to lie back and it's harder than you think to get your head down as far as you can, so you don't lose it when you go through the opening. He grabbed the chain and singing at the top of his lungs he heaves us through.

And there you are! The Blue Grotto!  It is beautiful and peaceful, and an iridescent blue just like they promise. The rower tells us that if we dip our hand in the water and make a wish, our wish will come true, so we all obliged. I'm still waiting for results. The row-about in the cave really only takes about 5 minutes, and it is spectacular, but then it is time to go again and back down in the bottom of the boat you go, and out the cave you shoot, only to find another long line of people ready to go in. Made it back to our original boat and attempted a graceful crawl back in. Up is much harder than the drop down. As far as graceful, epic I am not sure I would wear a sundress to this adventure even if you think it will be cooler for the day. Well, it was interesting for other companions who sat by and watched.

So would I recommend the Blue Grotto? I suppose I would. I'm glad I did it, but wish I had been a little more prepared. There are some friends of mine who would not enjoy crawling on and off the boat and trying to lay down in the rowboat, especially amongst strangers. I kind of liken it to a list I'm starting of things I'm so glad I did, but I'll never do again.  You know, like the Road to Hana.  Don't boo me. I think some people know what I mean. Been there, done that!

Off to the next adventure! Stay tuned!

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