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The adventures of the Mel

Le Cinque Terre revisited

ITALY | Friday, 15 October 2010 | Views [694] | Comments [1]

Go go Gadget blog writer!


Ummm....here’s one I prepared earlier?


You know, one would think that this would be easier considering the number of posts that I have written. Mind you, one might also think that I wouldn’t take as many photos of places that I’ve already seen. One can think a lot of things I suppose <enter philosophical mindset here> <leave philosophical mindset here>.

Le Cinque Terre was amazing, not that I was expecting anything different. We booked into the same hostel I stayed at last time and despite not having the most awesome roommates, it was an enjoyable stay. The woman behind the desk was fantastic – I remembered her from last time. After we arrived I went for a stroll around Levanto and saw more of it than I did last time. Most of my strolling was along the beach, which was lovely. At one end of the beach there was a guy playing with a remote controlled car on the sand, which was being chased and barked at by a somewhat hyperactive little dog; this was amusing for most people on the beach, methinks.

I continued walking along the walking track beside the beach, which stretched through tunnels and went on for a lot longer than I could afford the time. After returning to the hostel we ate at the place across from the hostel, which has changed hands so no longer serves cocktails (fail) and we had to wait 45 minutes for our meal when there were only three other tables being used (double fail). Oh well.

The next day we got up super early to go hike the trail. Last time you may (or most likely, not) remember that I hiked from Levanto to Riomaggiore and got the train back. This time we did it in reverse. On our way to the station we met a long lost relative of Mr. Quacky, which was awesome. He made Mr. Quacky look very big and clean! We boarded the train and ended up in La Spezia because when the train stopped in Riomaggiore our carriage was in a tunnel and instead of listening to my gut response I took Tess’s common sense advice that it wasn’t a stop. Grrr! Well, we got to see La Spezia then. We, uhh, planned it that way.

We got back to Riomaggiore about an hour and a half later (sigh) and began the trek. It was a fantastic sunny day for it and stretching my legs felt great! There were a lot more locks everywhere this time though – well, more than I remember at least. It seemed like a lot of netting and wiring had been put up so that people could lock their love to the passage as there was scant room at the original point.

We strolled from Riomaggiore to Manarola and halfway to Corniglia, as part of the track was closed due to mudslides. We had to take the train from Manarola to Corniglia and then make our way up 382 steps, which I freaking loved but Tess didn’t overly appreciate. My lungs were burning when I got to the top, but I wanted to do it again. Woot! Go cardio!!

From there we continued our way to Vernazza, and it was certainly a lot more ‘hike-y’ than between the first three towns. Along the way we were rewarded with amazing ocean views and the wonderful warm caress of a gentle autumn sun.

At Vernazza we sat down for a great lunch then went and basked in the sun for about an hour. Tessa decided to call it quits after this so I was to go it alone to Monterosso and then on to Levanto. Tess probably made a good choice as the trek was a lot harder in these last legs than at the start. I certainly think it’s better to do it in the direction that I did originally. However, some of the scenery was spectacular! Looking back at Vernazza and then at Monterosso was just beautiful. It probably helped that by this time the sun wasn’t behind the towns so they were more clearly lit.

Whilst in Monterosso I decided to fill up my water bottle at a water fountain (which wasn’t overly easy to find), but as I opened my bottle I dropped the lid down a grate! Oh noes!!!! I stood there in disbelief, knowing that I didn’t have enough money to buy another bottle or to get a train home. NOOOO!! Thankfully the woman who owned the restaurant was sitting outside and had seen me do it, so sold me a bottle of water for 50 euro cents. I freaking love you lady. You are so awesome that we should create a new word to describe you. Fantawesometastic.

So, freshly hydrated, I set off for the last 2.5 hour leg to Levanto. On the way I detoured slightly to get to Punta Mesco which for some reason I don’t remember seeing last time. It was just incredible – literally breathtaking. I could have stayed for hours but there was a guy sitting down sipping his tea and taking in the scene, which is probably good because I would be cutting it close to getting home before it got too dark if I stayed too long.

So after that amazing sight, I continued hiking on to Levanto. This was indeed a hike – my legs ached, my lungs burned and I went up and down and up and down. It was FANTASTIC!! I did get a bit of a fright when I heard a rustle and turned around expecting a lizard but instead saw a snake slithering away. After describing this to a local I bumped into, they explained it was probably a viper. You know, only their most dangerous snake. Whatever. Every rustle after that made me a little edgy!

Finally after about 2 hours or so and passing a few vineyards and lone houses I could see Levanto down below. I made it down and collapsed into a wonderful hot shower. We didn’t even end up going out for tea – we ordered a pizza to go and sat down by the beach and devoured it. Mmmmm...tasty, tasty pizza.

We pretty much went straight to bed (after I charged the lappy) as we were getting up very early the next day to head to Venice, which I will write about when we’ve been here  a bit longer.  Right now I think I might have a nap.



Le Cinque Terre photos.





Awww, I was hoping you'd have a photo of the little doggie...

All those stairs! Almost makes my knees and calves burn in sympathy.

And Mr Quacky is much nicer than his relative.

  Sally Oct 15, 2010 11:08 AM

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