It was supposed to be a 23-hour ferry trip to Civitavaggio near Rome, but of course it took longer than that. Not being able to afford a cabin, I made do with sleeping on the cushioned bench seat. The GRIMaldi ferry had just three toilets between every male on board, which were of course trashed within minutes of leaving Tunis, so I spent the entire journey trying to keep the turtle’s head at bay.
I’ll tell you what is cool, though, the book I’m currently reading, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is set in the Dominican Republic – and DR1.com gets a mention – extra cool when you consider that the book won the Pulitzer Prize for literature last year. Go Robert and Lu! Yeah!!
I had my train connection times scrawled at the back of my Lonely Planet Europe, as long as I could get to Rimini station before 1am, I’d be fine. I cut through Rome (my hour there was spent drinking coffee, eating ice-cream and talking to Mandy on Skype – time for love, Dr. Jones) and I arrived in Rimini around 9pm. There I got a taxi, THE MOST EXPENSIVE TAXI OF MY LIFE! over the border into San Marino.
San Marino is (apparently) the world’s oldest democracy. But I wasn’t there to admire their contribution to Political Science, I just wanted to drip my toe in and then high-tail it back to Rimini. Which is what I did.
I don’t want to tell you how much the taxi cost – it’s too depressing. One of those Sonic moments. But at least I had San Marino ticked off the list. I had a couple of coffees in Rimini waiting for my train to arrive at 3am. When it did, I was so tired I forgot to sleep.