I wish I’d spent my entire two week vacation in the Cinque Terre. I just love it here!

Yesterday at about 18.00 a thunderstorm rolled in off the mountains. I bought a bottle of wine and a hunk of foccacia and sat out on the balcony of my room, overlooking the water, under the canopy, watching the rain and getting happily drunk. It was one of the great moments of this entire trip.

I’ve been keeping a diary of today’s activities. Here’s the rundown.

The five towns of the Cinque Terre run roughly east to west like this:

  • Riomaggiore
  • Manarola
  • Corniglia
  • Vernazza (where I’m staying)
  • Monterosso al Mare

07.45: Left Vernazza on the hike to Corniglia
08.20: First encounter with other people since beginning the hike (a group of American tourists heading the opposite direction who’d left Corniglia at about 07.00).
08.35: First view of Corniglia.
09.10: Met an Indian couple with a toddler and a baby buggy coming the opposite direction. I convinced them that there was no way they were getting the kid or the buggy over this hiking trail, one of the toughest I’ve ever done. Most of it was in the shade, since the sun hadn’t yet risen over the mountains to the east, so it was quite wonderful.
09.25: Arrived in Corniglia, had breakfast, wandered around.
10.30: Decided to take the train to Riomaggiore and walk back so I’d have the sun at my back. Met the Indian couple again at the train station.
10.45: Arrived in Riomaggiore by train, wandered around, met a Welsh couple here on a camper-trailer vacation.
12.15: Started on the walk to Manarola. Very easy, wide path. It’s called the Via d’Amore.
12.40: Arrived in Manarola. Had a slice of pizza and a farinata (yummy!).
13.30: Set off on the walk to Corniglia.
14.00: My camera’s memory card ran out of memory. (I think that means I’ve taken over 700 on this trip, and that’s with deleting bad ones and duplicates every night; but today I’ve been snapping like crazy.) Stopped to delete some photos.
14.45: Arrived at Corniglia train station. Waited for train rather than walk back up the very long hill to the town, which I’d already seen.
15.30: Took train to Monterosso.
15.45: Arrived in Monterosso, went wading in the Ligurian Sea. Walked around, found this internet point.

Corniglia
Riomaggiore
The Via d’Amore, heading north from Riomaggiore to Manarola
Manarola

It has been a wonderful day, and I hate for my time here to end. I don’t want to leave.

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