Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day off in Cinque Terre May 27

                                                             Current Day                        Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles                             5.9                                      172.5

Gross climb- feet                                       840                                   13,715

Net climb- feet                                              0                                      2283

Song of the Day: Birthday, by the Beatles:

They say it's your birthday

We're gonna have a good time

I'm glad it's your birthday

Happy birthday to you

A special shout out to our son in law Damien, who is celebrating his birthday today.  Damien recently moved to San Francisco from Melbourne, Australia. Our Daughter Allison is finishing up her work in Melbourne and will move to San Francisco to join Damien in late June.  Happy birthday Damien!

For those of you curious about the measurement of miles, climb, etc: I use a small electronic device made by Withings that Allison and Damien gave me for my birthday last year. It has been my faithful companion ever since, and has provided great motivation to keep moving. I have calibrated it with maps and other devices, and it seems to be fairly accurate.

We were awakened at 6:00 am by the loud crack of thunder, followed by rain.  We decided to go back to sleep and see what the day would bring.  We later woke at 7:30; the rain had stopped, although it was overcast.  We headed down to the nearby cafe for breakfast, where ee had a first- bacon and eggs!  We have not seen this anywhere else in Italy, and undoubtedly, this is a nod to many international visitors to the cinque Terre.  The cafe was packed with Americans, most of whom seemed to order bacon and eggs!  

We wanted to hike from Vernazza where we are staying, to the towns of Corniglia and Riomaggiore.  This would b a relatively short hike of about 5 miles total.  Unfortunately, all the trails were closed due to the rain, and so we had to take a train to Riomaggiore.

We then explored the charming village of Riomaggiore which was packed with tourists, many of them Americans.  Rick Steves, the American travel writer, made the Cinque Terre popular for Americans.  He started writing about this back in the early 90's and American visitors have surged ever since.   After exploring Riomaggiore for several hours, we took the train to Monterosso for lunch and more exploration.  As we are at the sea, we both ordered excellent fresh fish dishes for lunch. The sun came out in the afternoon, and it was another beautiful day here.  The scenery truly is stunning.

The villages are on steep cliffs by the sea, and we were able to get lots of exercise and climbing today.  Still, it was a light day of walking for us.  We will need to get back in the swing of things as we go back to the trail. Tomorrow, we take a train to Pietrasanta to rejoin the trail and  walk approximately 8 miles to Camaiore.  Those of you following closely on the map may notice that we cut out a couple of sections of the Via when we came to the Cinque Terre.  Life is full of trade offs, and this was a damn good one!

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