A Travellerspoint blog

I am in Cinque Terre heaven !!!!

Even though I woke to a grey overcast sky that was threatening to rain it was not going to dampen my excitement of being able to hike these trails today!!!! Thunderstorms had been predicted and it looked like it too!!!

Had breakfast at the hostel for 3E of toast and breads with jam and got ourselves ready to head north to the town of Venazza, and then on to Monterosso by 9am.

The trail is 9km long and it has taken since the 12th century to build them. Today we would be walking 7km of them. You have to buy a Cinque hiking pass for 8 euro and for an extra 2 euro you can get free train travel between the villages.

Signs at the beginning of the walking tracks tell you not to wear high heels……apparently a lady wearing heels slipped over a cliff to her death from wearing heels

It was overcast when we set out on the track at 9am for Vernazza, which was supposed to take 1-½ hours to walk 4km. As Corniglia is perched high on the cliffs we set out downhill first and then started to climb. The rough stone stepped and dirt path went past olive groves and terraces all built by hand hundreds of years ago. The tracks are built beside dry stone walls using sandstone. Bunches of green and purple grapes hang off the vines.

Soon we were walking in a light sprinkle of rain. I put on my rain poncho but it was so humid I couldn't keep it on and decided to just get a bit damp

The trails we are to follow follow the coastline and are number 2 and marked by a red and white stripe. Sometimes we got off track and had to keep looking out for that little red mad white stripe. Other tracks went high up to the top of the hills. There were some seriously steep sections and very narrow parts of the trails. They seem to have made improvements where the trail was very narrow by have a fence now stopping you fall down steep cliff sinto the sea We went up and down and then started the descent down to Vernazza down several hundred steps. The view coming down over this small harboured town was stunning and is dominated by its old fortress tower. Brightly coloured homes with the central church and tower chiming every hour. We wandered through the cute cobbles stoned streets. Mum & I found our legs were shaking when we stood still. We went for a coffee and refreshments. I tried a diplomati slice, which looked a bit like a vanilla slice. While Mum and Nat continued to rest by the harbour I climbed up to the Castello (castle tower). The view down over the town was stunning from up there an dI could see back to Corniglia where we came from as well a on to Monterosa the last of the cinque towns that we were heading to.

As we set out to Monterossa (supposed to take 2 hours to walk 3 km) which is the hardest of the trails out started to rain and finally started pouring. It was so hot doing a long vertical climb for the first 45 minutes. I allowed myself to get wet before starting to get cold and needing to put on my rain poncho. It was bucketing down at this stage, we were soaking wet, there was driving wind and rain and it was all up hill!!

In the steep sections Nath held Mums hand to pull her up and I pushed from behind to save her legs and strength. She stopped frequently to have a little breather. We weren't the only mad ones out hiking in the middle of a thunder storm with lots of thunder & lightning!!! We had lots of laughs as we struggled on walking through streams of water on our track that were rushing downhill. Half way there it started to ease off a little and just drizzled. Once we reached the top the rest if the walk was pretty easy following the flat section of a ridge and passing through pine forests and vineyards. The high steep sections have recently been fenced which we appreciated!!!

As we descended towards Monterossa the sun started coming out and we crossed a few streams, walked on narrow ledges and climbed down hundreds of steps. It was so pretty – I like this section of the walk the best so far.

Down in the pretty village of Monterrossa which had 2 large sandy beaches we wandered around the narrow streets and went to a pizzerria and had great pizza and chatted with some aussies from Sydney who had just arrived. The villages are so picturesque with their colourful homes, squares with trattorias and stone churches. Nath and I had a gelato icecream….soooo good as we wandered around. We decide to catch the 40 minute boat back to the first cinque village of Riomaggiore for 8 E each. It was great way to see the villages from a totally different view and try to see the track we had walked along on these vertical cliffs. You could only see it if there were people on it.

The boat didn’t stop on our village of Corniglia because it is perched on the top of the cliffs. At the other village sit just came in to the rock and they threw out some roped and a gangplank for people to get on and off. It would be scary in rough seas as the boat would be thrown against the rocks. That may be why the boats only run from May until September.

We disembarked at Riomaggiore to catch a train back to Corniglia but we got on an express train by mistake that took us back to Monterossa where we had just left!!!

On to another train and we finally made it back!!!! No climbing up the 368 steps to our village – we got on the bus which was free to us with our daily Cinque cards. It had started raining again as we came home but at least we got a few hours of sunshine!!!.

We were back at the hostel by 5.30pm and sat on our beds chatting with our room mates about what we had all been doing during the day before going out to dinner. Nath and I forgot our rain ponchos and the 3 of us tried to huddle under Mum’s umbrella…….was not very successful!!! Found an interesting little hole in the wall restaurant and ordered a pesto spagetti, which was a local dish. Didn’t like it at all!!!

Poor Nath had a family of 7 including a baby move into his room. The owner was very apologetic and offered him free wifi use for the night!!

View out my window

View out my window


Corniglia

Corniglia


Our Dorm - my top bunk

Our Dorm - my top bunk


View out my window

View out my window


Our room

Our room


Mum leaving Corniglia

Mum leaving Corniglia


Here we go!!!

Here we go!!!


Nath!!

Nath!!


Troll Bridge

Troll Bridge


Go mamma

Go mamma


Steep stone steps

Steep stone steps


Lots of steps

Lots of steps


Cloudy overcast views but still beuatiful

Cloudy overcast views but still beuatiful


Looking back to Corniglia

Looking back to Corniglia


Corniglia perched high

Corniglia perched high


Sign pointing us to Venazza

Sign pointing us to Venazza


Views

Views


Hiking

Hiking


Views

Views


Hot and sweaty as it was so hunid

Hot and sweaty as it was so hunid


Mum

Mum


Views

Views


Glimpse of the railway track and tunnel

Glimpse of the railway track and tunnel


View northward

View northward


Monterossa in the distance

Monterossa in the distance


Looking down to Venazza

Looking down to Venazza


Hundreds of steps down to Venazza ( 700)

Hundreds of steps down to Venazza ( 700)


Still high above Venazza

Still high above Venazza


Lanes

Lanes


Harbour and church

Harbour and church


Boats in Harbour

Boats in Harbour


Ferry

Ferry


Fortress on hill in Venazza

Fortress on hill in Venazza


View from top of Castello Tower

View from top of Castello Tower


Venazza Harbour and church

Venazza Harbour and church


Ferry to Monterossa

Ferry to Monterossa


Venazza

Venazza


Castello Tower

Castello Tower


Castello Tower

Castello Tower


Antheriums growing by a house

Antheriums growing by a house


Heading out of Venazza

Heading out of Venazza


Way to Monterossa

Way to Monterossa


Hundreds of steps out of Venazza

Hundreds of steps out of Venazza


No high heels

No high heels


Looking back to Venazza

Looking back to Venazza


Grape picking machine on its own steep track

Grape picking machine on its own steep track


Ponchos on

Ponchos on


Yep we are wet and it  is thundering

Yep we are wet and it is thundering


Track

Track


Getting our breath under  some branches

Getting our breath under some branches


Track

Track


View to Monterossa

View to Monterossa


Vineyards

Vineyards


Down hundreds of steps

Down hundreds of steps


Monterossa

Monterossa


Down down

Down down


The track

The track


The track

The track


Nath

Nath


Big puddles

Big puddles


Our shoes were saturated

Our shoes were saturated


Action shot jumping the puddle

Action shot jumping the puddle


Vineyard

Vineyard


Giving Granny a helping hand

Giving Granny a helping hand


Walking by a stream

Walking by a stream


Follow the stripes

Follow the stripes


Sign we found as we finished the walk!

Sign we found as we finished the walk!


Monterossa

Monterossa


Monterossa

Monterossa


Beach

Beach


Pizza lunch

Pizza lunch


Monterossa vilage

Monterossa vilage


View south

View south


Beautiful water

Beautiful water


Nath and I

Nath and I


Beach

Beach


Road high above town

Road high above town


View from the  boat

View from the boat


View from ferry of Venazza

View from ferry of Venazza


Venazza

Venazza


Jumping from rocks at Venazza

Jumping from rocks at Venazza


Castello Tower at Venazza

Castello Tower at Venazza


Looking to Corniglia from ferry

Looking to Corniglia from ferry


Corniglia

Corniglia


Manarola

Manarola


Disembarking at Riomaggiore

Disembarking at Riomaggiore


Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore


Boats in Riomaggiore

Boats in Riomaggiore


Steps to Corniglia sign

Steps to Corniglia sign


Rain coming in over Venazza

Rain coming in over Venazza


Three drowned rats!!

Three drowned rats!!


Mum and I saturtaed

Mum and I saturtaed


The 3 of us

The 3 of us

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Italy

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login