On Walktober 2016

WalktoberRobinI always look forward to Robin’s Walktober celebration. Below are my past walks:

I had several ideas for 2016 – but then it hit me …. Let’s board a plane for one of the most beautiful and desirable walks in the world. Are you ready to join me in Cinque Terre, Italy!

Cinque Terre is a gorgeous short strip of very hilly terrain (some say rugged) along the amazing blue waters of the Ligurian Sea along Italy’s northwestern coast. The “Five Lands” are five small villages that are unique and outstanding: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Not only is this area an Italian National Park, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although (three years ago) I have spent an afternoon in this visual wonderland, my wife and I were not only looking forward to visiting each village, but also anxious for the challenge of walking from Monterosso to Vernazza … so I decided to take my readers along to celebrate Walktober. Besides, some of the other paths between towns remain closed from damage suffered in a 2011 severe storm.

For us, we boarded a train to La Spezia where we purchased a Cinque Terre pass for the trails and the local trains … followed by the short ride to Monterosso, the most western village of the five.

Monterosso not only has the longest shoreline of the five, it also has the most beaches. Add the blue sky and the blue water … wow! … wait until you see how blue the sea on this walk!

 

The walkway out of town is obvious, so after a snack, “Good bye Monterosso”

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… and discovered a special Home for Wayward Bloggers.

After a short walk and around the corner, we discovered another part of Monterosso that I didn’t know existed .. but we kept moving … after all, we didn’t know what’s ahead … Arrivederci Monterosso.

It wasn’t long thereafter that the terrain and the path changed. Oh crap … we have to go way up there? … and it was straight up with higher than normal steps.

The path is actually an ancient path used by people with mules and persons without a boat. The path can be narrow, steep, rocky, and high steps … so keep moving!

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That’s Monterosso (where we started) …. but no sign of Vernazza …

… yet people live up here to tend to their grapes, olives, and/or citrus.
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Along the way, everyone is treated with spectacular views

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Finally, a glimpse our destination – Vernazza
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… but the twists and turns caused Vernazza to play peek-a-boo to tease us …



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… and Monterosso seems so far away …

Vernazza is getting closer!
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What does up must come down – and on this day that means we enjoyed the long descent into Vernazza (while we watched those going in the opposite direction who were wondering if the climb would ever end and what lies ahead).

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At the end, I look back to see the start of those who walk in the opposite direction.
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To celebrate the journey, my wife chose a gelato treat … of which she says was the best gelato of the entire vacation.

… then let’s sit on the rocks by the water.

After walking and relaxing in Vernazza, we let the train take us to the next town – Corniglia (possibly my favorite village)- which involved 382 steps up to the town from the station. Then we trained to Manarola for dinner, and then Riomaggiore with the sun already below the horizon- so on this day, we visited all five villages of this beautiful part of the world.

If you enjoy fall walks, join Robin and others at her post. All you have to do is click here.

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84 thoughts on “On Walktober 2016

  1. Wow! What an amazing and beautiful walk, Frank! Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The scenery was breathtaking (and I bet all that climbing was too! lol!). So glad you picked such a gorgeous place for your Walktober walk. Thanks for joining in. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Robin,
      I knew you would enjoy this walk … as well as one that you would enjoy talking in person. It was less than 2 miles … maybe 1.5 miles … but it took use a few minutes shy of 2 hours.

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  2. Beautiful, Frank! Thank you for sharing.
    When I went to Italy with older daughter (school-related trip), we went to Capri and walked up to see the villa of Tiberius. And in Assisi with younger daughter, we walked up and down the steeply inclined streets. But we never visited 5 villages in one day. It looks like a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m impressed with those steps Frank – I’m sure I would have needed a wee lie down after the first half dozen! What a stunning part of the world to see, even if it was done in just one day! Which is also incredibly impressive, it must be all that dancing you do 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline,
      Thanks for the kind words … and yes, dance helps us, plus we like to walk when home. Needless to say, we were tired at the end of this day. … but it was a day with many Wow moments.

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  4. I think that I outta get my luggage packed and head for Europe, even when it rains it’s gorgeous in Italy, in Canada, the rain ☔️ is dreadful! Especially because a large part of BC had rain all July and August. Yup, time to get the luggage out and go on a vacation.
    But, I do love Canada, it’s spacious and each province has its own beauty.
    Maybe I should get the skates out and get ready for ice skating instead. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Genie,
      Their are many beautiful places in the world … and no question – Italy has it from head to toe. But hey … those Canadian Rockies near you are also quite the sight! … (although I haven’t been there … at least not yet). Stay dry this winter!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kerry,
      Thanks for joining us. This walk took a lot out of us. (ages 63 & 60) … BUT … we saw people along the way that we older … others had some ailments, but they kept trekking along. Interestingly, it is rated as “average” difficulty. I think I read that the trek from Vernazza to Corneglia is a bit more difficult than this one.

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  5. Thanks for the walk, just two hours you say? I’m terrible when I go walking, I have a pace that a racing snail would be proud of and of course there’s a camera stop at every photo opportunity.
    I loved the wayward blogger’s house on the hill and the hidden part of Monterosso, but then the views from high up were better, and looking down onto Vernazza, more wonderful still.
    And then those beautiful colourful streets… Spoiled for choice. 😊
    I’ve really enjoyed walking with you. Thanks for sharing. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sallyann,
      Thanks for coming along on the trek (rather than a stroll). Lengthening this walk to 3 hours would be no problem … so go for the slow pace and many photo ops. Although I didn’t show much of the towns, each was a visual feast. Monterosso and Vernazza are the most popular, thus the most crowded … but each village has its own character … so I encourage you to go!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Simply gorgeous, Frank. I know a few people who have visited and they have said what you have shown. It’s on my bucket list but something tells me Inshould have done it when I was a bit younger..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d have had my hubby carry me biggie-back up those hills. Although, he may have fallen into the ocean. LOLOL
    WOW … the mediterranean waters are gorgeously blue. Pretty, Pretty Pretty ….!!!
    The sunset is wondrous. I love all of the photographs. I could never have walked with my bad knees. I’ll enjoy your journey and relish in the thought of a yummy gelato. I’ll be having one on my cruise in December. I always look forward to that. ~~~ : – )
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Such exquisite beauty, Frank. I love to hike and can manage inclines, altitude and distance if the view is worth it, and I’d say this walk was one for the memory book! I’d go for the gelato as my reward, too!

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      • I stayed in a house facing the harbor, it was wonderful watching the shopkeepers in the morning open their shops and hose down their sidewalks. I loved the semi-wild cats that would hang around the restaurant kitchen doors waiting for handouts. It was such a charming village.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Watching local life is always a treat!!!! In the last two towns we noticed more locals as they were coming out to sit and talk with friends …. and probably also watch and talk about tourists. 😉

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    • Dawn,
      Thanks for coming over from Robin’s to join in the community effort. This was a special walk … and I went knowing this would be my Walktober contribution … so I’m happy to share it here!

      Like

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