Location: Porto Santo Stefano, Italy
Today the ones in the group who decided to brave the 5:30 am wake up went on a hike up a mountain on the island of Elba. Accompanied by large amounts of banana bread and water (which we soon found to run out about halfway up), we set off, bright-eyed and bushy-haired… Initial sleepiness soon turned to a challenge as we saw how enormous the feat was that we had voluntarily undertaken. Many looked like they were rethinking their decision. However, the feeling once we finally reached the top of the mountain, minus all our water and with the addition of a fair amount of bruises, was incredible. The landscape was amazing, and the sense of pride at having made it to the top was truly rewarding (though this again soon turned to fear as we looked at what we were going to have to make our way down). The journey down the mountain can only be described as somewhat of an adventure as some of us stumbled and failed to keep their footing on the loose rocks. The falls, however, were accompanied by much laughter and (generally) taken with good humor. Once the whole crew had returned to the boat, we returned to the normal day of working shifts and raising sails, though many were desperate for shower time to wash off the copious amount of dirt and leaves. Sailing class taught us all about the safety light precautions that have to be taken when sailing at day and night. When shower time finally did come around, though initially longed for, there were many wails as saltwater was scrubbed into scratches to clean them out. This was then followed by a quick squeeze and a tasty dinner of pork chops and gravy. All in all, a very eventful and thoroughly enjoyable day!