There is really only one word to say to our blog-followers, and that word is "SOR-RY". Lots has been happening and there has been little time for writing, but the thing is, you see, there has been no Internet in our gorgeous rental house here in Pitelli. In addition, there has been no phone shop from which to buy data phone credit. So there! Apology accepted?
La Cinque Terra (5-T) has been astonishing. There have been countless adventures had by the Fabulous Four (DJ, GCR, Graz and Andy) that there is only so much time and space available, and I cannot relate it all here. Again - so-RY!
Lots of our chums had experienced 5-T before and had told us how much we would enjoy it. This is always good to hear, but it leaves one with the residual fear that perhaps we bloody-well WON'T enjoy it. Hands up those who have had THAT feeling? Also, there was still stuff to do in Beaune, and maybe we shouldn't have come to Italy and instead stayed at home (in Beaune) and finished off a few tasks. Looking back into the past retrospectively, as we steam into Milan for our flight to London and home I can tell you now that WE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION!
5-T is all that it is cracked up to be. The five towns themselves are a splendiferous collection of architecture, culture, magnificence, history and beauty. Nothing more to say. We observed them by train, on foot, by car and on the ferry. Amazing.
It was not possible to walk between all the towns as the floods of 2011 had washed most of the track away and officially only one of the walks was open for us - that from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. This was the longest and 'toughest' walk according to the guide books, but no probs for any of the Four Findouters (apologies to Enid Blyton again). Vernazza was beyond description, so I won't try. You need to go there yourself.
This traverse completed, we decided to walk to the bit on the track that marked the blocking off of the path, but no barrier materialised, so we continued on to Corniglia ( I hope I am getting these towns correctly spelled and in the right order). Another gob-smack here, but again, indescribable. The reason I am telling you all this is so that you will make sense of the attached photos.
To begin this, as it turned out long, walk, we had set off on the ferry from our 'home town' of Lerici. This (ie the ferry) was a great way to get the lie of the land and to gain our bearings on the geography of the area. Sail to the further-most town, calling in on the 5-Ts on the way, and walk back. DO IT!
On other days we took the train to the towns we missed on the walk and just 'hung out' (as today's young would call it). Lost of lovely ice-creams, coffees, lunches and toilet breaks to be had along the way.
The 5-T was great, but we did more! On one gloomy-looking day we hopped into the hire car that Andy and Graz had and tootled off somewhere else. WHO can guess where we went?
I shall report in the next blog.