The next day, we took advantage of the perfect weather and spent the entire day at the beach
. There was only one public beach in the area and it was packed! Most of the usable space was owned by businesses who "rented" out sunchairs and umbrellas at astronomical prices. There was no way we were going to pay for something that we could get for free 10m down the street! L's friend was returning from Florence that evening, so we waited to eat dinner with him at a local restaurant which specialized in seafood. Unfortunately, he arrived quite late and we didn't start eating until 10:30pm. It was worth the wait! We had so many incredible dishes that I lost count halfway through the meal. The highlight was the seafood salad (check out the picture) with countless scampi and prawns. Yum! It was past midnight by the time we finished dinner, but L's friend wanted to show us a bit of the coast so he gave us a mini tour of the region.
Originally, L & I were scheduled to do the Cinq Terre tour the next day but we slept in and took the ferry to one of the nearby islands for some more sunbathing. It was definitely a lot more quiet than the mainland and nice to get away from the crowds. We were supposed to stay an extra night in Porto Venere but L & S decided that it was too expensive because of all the eating out so they thought that it was best for us to drive back to their hometown of Pievepelago. I just go wherever the wind blows!
We almost didn't make it to this seaside town! L secured another round of free accomodations for us but her friend called and said that he was still in Florence for another day! L worked her magic and convinced him to contact his family to leave the extra keys in the mailbox. Problem solved! We drove the 3 hours down south through Tuscany to the coast and stopped for a grocery run before arriving at the beach house. The menu tonight? Baby shrimp salad and linguini alle vongole (one of my favourite pasta dishes). We decided to "splurge" 7 euros on a good bottle of white wine. The wine in this country is so good and plentiful that you can easily buy a decent bottle at the supermarket for 3 euros. If only it was like this in Canada! The meal was nothing short of amazing. I could feel the pounds packing on by the second!