Cinque Terra

Trip Start Oct 04, 2006
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Trip End Oct 21, 2006


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Monday, October 16, 2006

We slept in a little since our room was so quiet and comfortable. We had a nice breakfast in the hotel -- then took off to find/buy our Cinque Terra card.

13.00 Euros for 3 days provided access to the trails, the regional trains from Levanto to Riomaggiore and shuttle buses in the town. A great deal...and the fee helps sustain the park and the trails.

We started the red/white path, number two, (from Monterosso to Vernazza, around 9:30 and let me tell you, the uphill paths were quite steep and tiring. In some places the path was only about 16 inches wide with steep drops below...so you really have to pay attention, even if the beautiful views of the sea and mountains are calling to you.

We made it into Vernazza around 11:30 because we took our time...and took lots of pictures too. Vernazza is an enchanting postcard-perfect town...and we sat contentedly on the breakwater for awhile, watching the town unfold and soaking in the sights and sounds. We went to Taverna del Capitan for lunch and had wonderful saffron flavored gnocchi and grilled seafood...then decided to trudge on to Corneglia. First, though, I had to indulge in a pastry from Il Pirate. (That wasn't dessert...it was fortification. I swear!)

The trail to Corneglia was a long, difficult slog. The views kept us going...but the hot afternoon sun bouncing off the rock walls felt like an oven. We were exhausted by the time we rolled into town and after a quick look-see around town, we headed down 400 zig-zaggy steps to the train station and rolled into Monterosso around cocktail hour.

We rewarded ourselves with a beer at Nuevo Eden and, once again, decided that:

1) we're the luckiest people on earth and
2) we need to do this more often!

We called Ken and checked in with him. It was nice talking to him...and after we made our way back to the old town, we sat at the dock and watched the fishermen come in.

Now back to the hotel to rest up for another day of hiking.
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