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Ischia and Procida aerial view with colorful buildings and boats

European Adventure Ischia and Procida

Ischia and Procida

The following day I’m back on the train, this time headed to Napoli. It would be a short stop however, as I needed to almost immediately board the ferry to the island of Ischia. I was headed there for a couchsurfing summer camp that would take place on the island for a total of four days. The event was organized by the Napoli couchsurfing community. They accommodated our stay in a local hostel and had activities planned all over the island. From hiking and beach outings during the day to DJs, dancing and live bands at night back at the hostel.

On the ferry ride over to the island, I noticed two other girls with luggage. I asked them if they were headed over for the summer camp as well and luckily enough for me, as to save me from any awkwardness, they were. Their names were Olga and Maria, both visiting from Russia. For Maria, it would be her first time on the island but for Olga it would be her second. She had already taken part in other activities organized by this same group prior to this camp.

During our ferry ride together, I got to know more about them, especially Olga as her English was much better. We took many pictures, some together but mostly individual. Olga had a thing for taking pictures. She loved posing and modeling for every shot, no doubt hoping one of them would capture that perfect shareable Facebook or Instagram moment.

After the ferry and a long confusing bus ride, we finally arrive at the hostel for check-in. Believe it or not, this would be my first time staying in a hostel which meant having to share a room and bathroom with others. At first they wanted to put me in a room of six people but I was able to talk my way down to four instead. I ended up staying in a room with really chill and quiet roomies, Lars from Germany and Abishek from Amsterdam. And also the infamous ‘towel man’, can’t forget that dude. He wasn’t even part of the summer camp group. He was just there for some reason.

Turned out he had been staying there for three months already so he was practically living there. That would explain why the room had that live in smell. We called him the towel man because well, he always walked around with a towel around his waist and nothing else. He was very quiet, actually never heard him utter a single word to us and mostly kept to himself. Anyway, needless to say, it was an interesting experience but not as bad as I thought it would be to share my personal space with others.

The camp itself proved to be quite intriguing as well. Once again, I was afforded the unique opportunity to meet people from literally all over the world! Learning from and experiencing different cultures and ways of life. Each night we were treated to local, traditional music and dancing with the occasional visit from the ‘towel man’, who would quietly observe our behavior. Maybe as inspiration for his next great novel or something, who really knows. My favorite part was the outdoor outings and treks that we did around the island. Beautiful mountain, town and coastal views. There was even a side trip excursion to the neighboring small island of Procida which was also quite impressive.

The highlight of it all had to be the natural hot springs of Sorgeto. Located on the island of Ischia on a tiny beach in a gorgeous picturesque cove. These thermal pools are heated by the Island’s natural volcanic rock activity below. The hot springs served like a natural hot tub and I definitely needed that at this point in the trip. I got to soothe away all my aches and pains, especially my feet and afterwards felt renewed for the rest of my trip ahead.

I met quite a few beautiful souls at this summer camp, but the best soul of all was without a doubt Vincenzo or Enzo for short. We got into some amusing and funny conversations. Between his decent Spanish and my pathetic Italian, we made it work. It was a lot of fun! Meeting him definitely made my experience at the camp that much more enjoyable for me. Aside from our comical musings and observations we also discussed life in Italy and his time spent in Ireland. He grew up mostly in Napoli and now lives in Salerno. He also helps organize events with the group and is currently planning a New Year’s event in Salerno. He provided me with many useful travel tips.

Another lovely soul worth mentioning was Celi who was the only other surfer visiting from the states. We both had California in common and I spent a good deal of time enjoying conversations with her as well. All in all, I enjoyed my time spent at camp and don’t regret the experience. It was a fun and interesting experience all around. I got to take part in varied activities and met so many different, unique people.

Onward to Napoli

Trip photos

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