LIZ HARROD

Grand Voyage to Baiardo

In Italy, Travel 2011 on May 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Okay, so today, I was reminded of how lucky I have been.

In the states, when I traveled – mostly between school and home – I was a bit notorious for having crappy flight connections, long layovers, etc. I haven’t had any of that while traveling this time around….. Until now.

Baiardo, to say the least, is a bit off the beaten path. From Paris, I had to take the overnight train to Nice, then a train to Sanremo, with one connection, and finally a bus from Sanremo to Baiardo. If only it had been that simple . . .

I was able to bid au revoir to Kelsey and Justin at dinner the night before, without any more drama than usual (members of the tripod tend to cry, so there was that).

But the real drama didn’t start until yesterday with me preparing to leave Stéphane’s. He has a job that has the potential to take up quite a bit of time. He usually pulls long hours, which is fine with him, except when there is a girl at a train station waiting until the last minute to tell him goodbye before her train leaves. We gave up on the idea of having a parting dinner – I left him some prawns and polenta (aka shrimp ‘n grits) in the fridge – and crossed our fingers that he would make it to the station before I got on.

He barely made it. Just before I turned to handover my ticket, he came running around the corner, still in his suit. We both laughed a bit at the iconic spectacle we must have created – a dramatic last minute goodbye in a train station in Paris – and said a few teary goodbyes with hopes of a rendez-vous in Nice, and with that I boarded the train, a sad little bear, and snuggled into my cot.

Only to wake up at about 4 in the morning when the train stopped moving. Interesting.

Fell back asleep figuring it must be planned, and then woke up in Nice to find out we were two hours late – apparently we should not have been standing still at 4AM. So I had to hop in an ages long line to change my tickets, along with everyone else who had just missed a connection.

Finally, I made it to the front of the ages long line, and managed to speak in French enough to explain my situation. I had just missed the next train, but could get one later….. 3 hours later…. Ugh

Then, would you believe, that train, three hours later, was late too. So I missed the connection on the way to Sanremo, had to deal with a very cranky Italian ticket man, and then finally finally finally I got there, and was welcomed by the very lovely Fern and Nikki, two representatives from ACLE.

We had a bit of lunch and I had a look around Sanremo while waiting for the next bus to Baiardo.

Baiardo is meant to be a lovely relaxing four weeks for me. I’ll be volunteering my time and work to ACLE in exchange for accommodation. They have a few houses that need maintaining for guests to the village. So I help out, and get to stay in one of the houses,

Anyway, I’m here now, despite the bit of travel drama.

Michael met me here, and showed me around the tiny but really beautiful town. I have a gorgeous view out of my own little house, with a little peak at the Alps. He cautioned me that being alone up here does tend to get to some people. I think I’ll be okay, but we’ll see.

Finding out a bit more about work tomorrow. They have a group of people coming next month to stay in the houses. So I’m sure there will be lots to do.

Pictures soon!

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