National Geographic : 1935 Jan
LIFE'S PATTERN ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA They stopped. A tall blond chap leaped upon the wall and dropped down on the beach. His bicycle was lifted over, all the bicycles, in fact, and the beach became a lounge for long-dis tance travelers. They could not camp there; it was against the local rules. An officer pursued the nasty busi ness of preventing any such joy. Did they know it? I hoped not. Later I suspected they did, and I chuckled with mischievous de light at the way these traveling boys gained their point. You could not tell whether their method was innocent or wily, so simple it appeared. When the road officer lounged by on his last round, they were boys smoking and ruminat ing beside a sea left luminous by the after glow. Only one incon spicuously pulled things from a bicycle pack a frying pan, a coffee pot, an alcohol stove. SUN: No fussing. They all Beneath the arches lay quietly until the peaceful note in meal was ready. I could see it was plenteous. I could see the haste of hunger and its gradual slowing down. Smokes again, but not until all kitchen effects were tidily effaced. WHO CARES FOR RULES? What now? They could not spend the night; yet, if they rode on, the coast showed no other beach, only rocks and cliffs for miles and miles. I longed with all my heart to see those fine boys defeat the silly law that would compel them to spend their scant coins for some wretched lodgings. I had my wish. Peeping in the deepening dark, I discerned the rising point of a pup tent. How delightful! They felt it worth tres passing to lie beside a whispering summer Photograph by G. R. Ballance LIGHT AND SHADOW AT SOSPEL of thick-walled houses splashing fountains add their a quiet town which long knew war and plague. sea with a waning moon to make sparkles through the night. But the morning-and the police? The beach was empty when I rose at 5 for our own journey in the hills. Clever boys! In our car we left Bordighera for Men ton (see pp. 77, 79, 81, 83, 87, 88, 92, 95), fought our way through the irritation of the border laws and on into France, taking the valley road. That road is a laundry for the first mile. Signs tell you that the little stream that meanders through a plain of gray pebbles is a "torrent"; but it really is a laundry. Women are there at the crippling work of washing clothing in icy water while kneeling above it. Whoever thinks it merely picturesque should try it (see page 85).