So we left the beautiful city of Florence and headed towards the stunning coast of the Cinque Terre. We had managed to find a bed in one of the two remaining hostels in the area only to find that when we arrived it was far away. The man at the news stand said "You come all the way from Australia and you stay in Biassa and see nothing!!". Well I can tell you that these Italians are funny people because the veiw from our hostel was definately something. Hidden up in the hills in a village that could be described as a retirement home for old Italians, our hostel was is the perfect spot. The hills parted to reveal a stunning view of the town La Spezia. Sally and I loved this place so much that we booked another two nights accomodation.
Now onto the hike. I owe a huge, and I mean HUGE thankyou to Sophie and Nick, who told us before we left to walk the Cinque Terre from Monterosso to Riomaggiore and not the other way. For those of you who have been to the Cinque Terre, it is a hike. And for myself, and particularlly Sally who is allergic to exercise, completing this trek was quite an accomplishment but well worth the pain. We managed to finish the hike in just under five hours.
For those of you who have not been, picture this:
The cinque terre, as the name implies, is a coastal area consisting of five (cinque) towns (terre). Set in a Nation Park, between each of these towns a huge hills that breakaway to cliff faces at times. Picture youself walking in the midday sun, surrounded by shrubs and trees, following a small stone staircase for what seems like an eternity. You walk and walk, climbing each step, feeling the lactic acid building in you legs to the point where you can`t take anymore then suddenly you reach the peak. The trees part and you are left stunned by the spectacular view that you are looking at. Below is a deep green valley blanketed in vineyards and olive groves, all the way to the rocky shore. On the opposite side is the next village, similarly to any picture of greece, these houses seem to teater on the edge of the cliff. The rainbow of colours that the houses are painted in are a definate contrast to the brilliance of the blue in the ocean. On this particular day there was a misty haze in the sky so that horizon disappeared and the boats that were floating in the water appeared to be flying in the air. Such an amazing momment that you forget that your legs hurt and you continue on to the next town!
Did that help?
Sally and I spent the next two days recovering on the beach, tough life!!