Cinque Terre

Trip Start May 30, 2008
Trip End Nov 02, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Friday, September 26, 2008

Really loved relaxing in the Cinque Terre...if you can call hiking 10km each day relaxing! It was a way for me to get back to nature after the hectiveness of venice and florence. Gorgeous cliffs, beautiful sunsets over the sea and a really lovely clean hostel. Generally I started the day with an organic breakfast of crossant, muesli and a fresh bread roll, then walked along gorgeous coastlines until lunch. I had food like pesto gnocci, pizza, or a panini with mozerella and tomato, and the white wine of the region. Then, climbing up giant hills (almost mountains) to get to the viewpoints up the top. The scenery was so lovely it was worth the intense exertion and sweat that was require to climb up (and its really disheartening when a 70 year old german woman steams past you with little to no effort on her part!).

The only down side is the insane number of tourists on the major paths (particularly from canada and America). Loud noisy tour groups who talk instead of walk really annoyed me, but I found that as soon as I moved away from the classic coastal road, I found quiet places and solitude.

After four days of relaxation, I had a long train journey down to Sorrento. After a trainstrike was planned and then cancelled (when I asked why I was given a shrug and told "this is italy"), I thought Id be alright. But after being on the train from 7.30 until 2pm, I was given the wrong directions at Naples station (along with about 5 other anglos, I might add) and we got on a train going completely the wrong way for an hour. So an hour out of our way, and hour waiting for the next train back, then an hour to Sorrento. After this extravaganza I was exhausted but strangely, not upset, worried or angry about it. I actually had a little smile to that moment I realised that Ive become a real backpacker, unfazed by the long hours of travel, the confined quarters of trains and the unhelpfulness of train staff.
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