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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On a Tribute to a Regional Home

For many of the Explore posts I precede the video with reflective quotes that tie to the video – but not this time. Many readers here enjoy The Piano Guys. Although the music is theirs, the video is a tribute to their home.
Besides multiple occasions at the Salt Lake City airport, I’ve never been to Utah. It would seem to national parks like Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef would be quite the journey in itself … but I’m sure there is more to see. So, enjoy the music and visual tribute The Piano Guys give to the region they live and love – southern Utah.

On a Quick Visual Trip

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. (Martin Buber, philosopher)

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet)

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. (Confucius, philosopher)

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. (Maya Angelou, poet)

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. (Saint Augustine, theologian)

I enjoy travelling, so this Explore takes us on a 4-minute trip to 30 countries through the beauty of time-lapse photography. Sit back and enjoy because you’ll see places you recognize, places you may have been, places you may want to go, and places that you may never see.

On Exploring South Africa

I am fortunate to have two South Africans as regulars here, Bulldog and Sylvia. Besides being pleasant people with good senses of humor and good bloggers, they are prime examples of human goodness. I’ve never been to their country, but their photographs have shown me portions of the beauty their land offers.

I found this video about South Africa, and I must admit that I had no idea about the beauty and the diversity their country offers. I hope everyone enjoys the video journey that I dedicate to my friends. Have you ever been there or desired to go?