Current Day Trip to Date
Distance walked - miles 8.5 181
Gross Climb- feet 858 14,573
Net Climb- feet. 79 2362
Song of the Day: Wild Horses by Jagger and Richards. Sung by many, my favorite versions are live with Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello or The Flying Burrito Brothers.
Wild horses couldn't drag me away
Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them some day
Quote of the Day: Francis of Assissi: "My feet are my horses" when asked how he would get around after selling his horse to raise money.
Last night, we went down to the Blue Marlin cafe in Vernazza to use their free Internet. Once again, our hotel did not have Internet. Massimo, the owner of the Blue Marlin, played several songs on the piano and then came over to talk to us. A very charming and interesting guy, in his early 50's. Among other things we learned is that he lived in Barcelona for 6 years. We told him that when we came to Cinque Terre in the 90's, it was busy, but nothing like now. His reply: "Rick Steves." He went to explain that Rick Steves' books and films really made the cinque Terre. In fact, he said that Rick was there just two weeks ago filming again. He said that when the Cinque Terre was flooded out in 2011, Rick Steves called him on the phone to see how things were going. Massimo also provided us the quote from Francis of Assissi. Massimo was a very interesting and entertaining guy, and gave us some good advice about hiking in Italy.
One other important item from our two days in Vernazza: laundromat! For the first 12 days of the trip, we have hand washed our clothes in the sink of the hotel and then hung out the window to dry. Certainly works in the short term. But, we were able to wash and dry all our clothes in the laundromat in Vernazza, a real treat.
This morning at 8:30, we took a 1 hour, 45 minute train ride to Pietrasanta. Funny thing about train rides- when you are riding through the countryside, they can be very interesting, with beautiful landscapes. However, when you are riding through populated areas, they are almost universally ugly. Often the houses near the train lines are run down, with lots of junk in the yards. Or, near basic industry factories like cement, etc. We have ridden trains all over the world, and this seems to be true everywhere we go. Italy is no exception.
When we got to Pietrasanta, we had a very pleasant surprise. There was an art show of large horse sculptures that is going to close in two days. The sculptures were very impressive in their scope. Most were in a large square, but some were inside of a church! Here are some pictures:
We then walked to Camaiore. It was a very pleasant walk, with overcast skies, fortunately we were not rained on. As with most days, we got lost a couple of times, once after we had walked up a very steep path for perhaps half a mile. Linda accuses me of just trying to run up the mileage!
We then arrived to Camaiore and checked into our hotel, the fantastic Villa Lombardi. The hotel is spectacular and we have a very nice room. The owner is a antiques dealer, and the furniture in the rooms is quite nice. Here is the ever lovely Linda as we were leaving the hotel for dinner. By the way, Linda surprised me tonight with yet another new outfit. I don't know how the hell she does that with her 14 pound backpack. It's a magic pack that just keep spitting out new clothes!
This evening, we decided to go to a very nice restaurant in town, near our hotel. Halfway through the meal, I got up to go to the restroom, and who should I run into but our German friend Christian who we met last week! This is one of those small world items that seem to happen all the time on this sorts of walks. Christian was with a Japanese guy named Massa who has been walking for 3 weeks and a Dutch guy whose name I didn't catch. Like us, Massa has walked the Camino de Santiago. Here is a photo from our dinner. Linda has her arm around Christian. We promised that we would get together tomorrow evening in Luca.
I am really looking forward to this next few weeks as we enter the heart of Tuscany. Tomorrow, we walk 15 miles to Lucca. We visited Lucca in 2000 with my brother Bruce and his family and really enjoyed it.