Ciao Bella's!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Sunday, September 6, 2009

After a smooth trip from Bologna, we arrived in Riomaggiore – the first of the 5 towns that make up the Cinque Terre, and the one we were staying in. The instructions the accommodation people gave to find their office were easy to follow and they weren't far away from the train station which was great! Most of the places that have accommodation have different rooms or apartments spread out through the towns, and we were lucky enough to be quite close to the main street, and not up the hill which would have been really crap having to carry our packs.

The hostel had a balcony with a nice view of the town, and we were lucky enough to score our own room. We spent the evening chatting to the other backpackers (mostly Americans) and went out for pizza and pasta which were actually a bit crap. The night was redeemed though when we got some delicious gelato for dessert and sat on the rocks looking out over the sea.. how romantic!

We didn’t sleep in too much the next morning because we were doing 'the walk’ from Riomaggiore to Monterosso (1st to 5th town) along the coast. The walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the ‘Via dell’ Amore’ – lovers lane! There is a ‘love seat’ for romantic pashes, and there are padlocks everywhere that people lock on the fences to symbolize their love.. ooohhh!!! Naturally I gave Megg a big kiss – see photo of her trying to escape it. The scenery was beautiful, but the sea was surprisingly rough – we later learnt that there was a hurricane or something out at sea which was making the water crazy.

The walk from the 3rd to 4th town was different to the 1st part, it was a bit harder as the track was skinnier and away from the cliffs with lots of steep steps and rocks everywhere. We walked through olive groves and scrub, and saw some spectacular views. When we got to the 4th town (Vernazza) we were pretty hot, sweaty and hungry, so we ate pizza (surprise!) and cooled off with a gelato while watching the waves crash onto the rocks. We couldn’t be bothered doing the last bit of the walk to the last town Monterosso because it was hot and I wanted to go swimming in the beautiful water we had been looking at the whole walk, so we caught the train there and headed to a part of the beach that was free (lots of the beaches were covered in umbrellas and you have to pay to be there – so rude how can someone own the beach?!) Because of the sea being so rough I only had a quick swim, I actually got caught in a bit if a rip but I was fine thinks to all the tips I’ve learnt from Bondi Rescue (Thanks Whipet, Kurbox and Maxi!) Who would have thought that I could get caught in a rip in the lake that is the Mediterranean?? Anyway, we spent what was left of the afternoon enjoying the sun with a beer (Megg even had half a Corona!) and delicious seafood while watching the sunset.. More romantic moments, ooohhh!

After all that exercise we had a decent sleep in! We spent the day hanging out in Riomaggiore - wrote some postcards at a café with a great view over the water, then bought some bread, sundried tomatoes and freshly made pesto for lunch on our balcony. Poor Megg had been having some painful wisdom teeth issues for the past few days and struggled to get the food in her mouth as her jaw had pretty much locked (it was a bit funny watching her try to eat, and I can say that now because she’s recovered!) We relaxed with a bit of Uno and read our books in the sun, wandered through the tiny streets of Riomaggiore, did some people watching and cooked delicious fresh Ravioli for dinner. We finished the day off with strawberries and gelato for dessert while chatting to an NZ’er and an American dude, listening to 6 different bands play the same Beatles hits over and over in the piazza which was just below our hostel!

For our last day we planned to catch a ferry to Monterosso in the morning, but they were absolutely chockers, so we sat and watched what seemed like millions pile on and off them before deciding to just catch the train instead. I changed my mind about swimming a bit because we saw a dead stingray in the shallows – AAGGH!!! But after lunch in Monterosso I was too hot and wanted to get in the water – the Mediterranean was back to it’s old self, still and warm (boo!). I had a couple of swims until a girl got stung by a JELLYFISH all over arm and then I decided to definitely stay out of the water. I HATE jellyfish.  We cooked dinner, and had gelato for dessert (of course!) and relaxed on the balcony… nice!!
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