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Penguins Pilgrimage to Ischia 2014

25th to 29th May 2014


At a ridiculously early hour on 25th May, 15 Penguins ranging in age from 6 to 56 flocked to Gatwick.  The next 96 hours were an eclectic melange of travel, thermal spas, sun, sea, and sport, superb food, and the odd glass of limoncello.  Home was the most exotic Mandorla hotel in Maronti Bay, 50 yards from the sea with its own volcanically-heated pools and natural sauna.  Pasquale organised a suberb round-island boat trip, taking in, amongst others : San Angelo, of Hollywood fame, Il Fungo rock, the Lovers’ cave with its fluorescent coral, and a very fine lunch. 


One evening saw the Penguins challenged by our hosts to take part in the Ischia Olympics, a team triathlon consisting of sheet tossing, blow darting and tug of war.  Much to our surprise we won all 3 events, with Ping Pong Paul eclipsing all others in his mastery of the sheet toss (an arcane game with a table tennis ball resting on a sheet, one side of which is taped to the floor, the contestant having to propel the ball into a nearby bucket with a flick of the wrists).  It is entirely unclear how we won the blow darting, being significantly and consistently worse in each of 12 rounds.  The tug of war saw weight and gamesmanship being employed to excess,  and to excellent effect.


The trip to see Negombo was magical (Negombo is, contrary to our initial impression, not an exotic dance band, but a resort of 50 pools/baths/spas/showers/steam rooms/saunas of differing temperatures).  A truly relaxing day, vastly popular with all age groups.

At a ridiculously early hour on 29th May, 15 Penguins ranging in age from 6 to 56 flocked to Franco’s battered minibus to begin the trip home.  An outstanding holiday in all respects, which would not have been possible without the very generous hospitality and exquisite organisation of Pasquale and Mina Giordano.  Roll on next year.


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