|Hiking offers a few nice views...|
When I thought about going to an island for a month, it was to get away from the crowds and bustle of Naples. It worked. Ischia, just an hour or so by boat, is a little oasis of tranquility, at least in the off-season. I didn't think, however, that I'd end up feeling like such a local, waiting in the island's only emergency room. Let me explain.
Ischia is a tourist haven, of course. The thermal baths and seaside towns have attracted visitors since the mid 20th century. Today, Italians still flock here in the summer, and it seems as if all of Germany has also migrated to its villas and apartments. It's April, and the weather rocks, but not enough to lure the Italians out in full force yet. I feel like I have the place to myself.
|I'm beating the tourist crowds...|
I have wandered the streets and pathways, by foot, since I have not worked up the courage to rent a scooter. And I won't. I'm not that European.
The beaches of towns like Forio and Lacco Ameno are cute and charming. Nothing like the oceanfront views of Ocean City, New Jersey, but whatever. It'll do for now.
The sun and sand are lovely, but I have opted to hike, instead, up and up and up to the summit of Mount Epomeo, the highest point on Ischia. Apparently the footpaths through the forests and cliffs are well off the beaten track. Fallen trees and rocks strewn about by 2017's earthquake made things difficult. Treacherous, even.
|The view I earned after I popped my shoulder back into place...|
At one point, perhaps this little adventurer went off the marked trail (oops), and he fell, landing his rear on the ground. It was only as the lighting bolts of pain through his arm calmed a bit that he realized that his shoulder was entirely out of its socket. His arm was at an exciting angle. Fortunately, anatomy is not arbitrary, and the tendons and ligaments snapped it all back into place, making it right again. Still, it hurt.
The sun and sand had to wait while I went to the ER the next day, experiencing Ischia in a whole new way. My Airbnb host, the doll that she is, took me to get an x-ray, where we discovered that nothing was broken. A solid win. I feel like a true local, having conquered Mount Epomeo and the Italian health system all within the same weekend.
That said, I think from now on it's best to stick to the sun and sand and leave the mountains and emergency rooms. Another day, Ischia, another day.