A Short Walk to Riomaggiore

13 July 2013

If I get this post done tonight, I’m up to date again! Never knew holidays could be so busy.

Yesterday was a big-walk day; today was much-shorter-walk day. South to Riomaggiore. Riomaggiore is the largest of the five villages, and is — apparently — one of the most popular places for tourists to stay.

Again, the easy walking trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore is closed, so to get there by foot you have to scale the side of the big hill again (gazillions of steep steps), then walk along the road for a bit through a tunnel and over a big, tall road bridge that takes you over the valley, then down another gazillion steep steps.

Luckily today was overcast! And there was thunder rolling about most of the morning, although nothing more than a few spits of rain eventuated. The cloud cover took 10 degrees off the temperature this morning — the farmacia digital sign in Riomaggiore recorded only 23 degrees at about 1030 this morning. Much nicer for walking!

Before leaving Manarola, I spent about 15 minutes with the camera down by the water’s edge. It’s so peaceful and pretty before all the tourists start doing their thing. I’d love to see this place in the off season.

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The geology is fascinating — check out the folding in the rocks.

The road immediately behind Manarola has a pretty challenging switchback…

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…which, as a pedestrian, you can circumvent in the interests of reducing track miles.

Once up the steep part of the hill past more grapes…

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… you get to walk through a tunnel…

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…and out the other side we found the grape-train thing that goes on the tracks we saw yesterday.

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I wouldn’t be keen for a ride!

We got an enthusiastic Buongiorno from some extremely fit-looking Italian cyclists, and then we got to walk over this cool bridge…

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….before re-capturing the steep walking track down to Riomaggiore immediately after the bridge.

The whole walk only took about an hour — easy compared to yesterday.

We stayed in Riomaggiore for about an hour and a half, but there wasn’t really a lot to do. Except eat (which we did: our first slice of pizza this whole trip!) and dodge tourists. Lots and lots of tourists, many of them in the follow-the-person-with-the-flag-on-a-stick walking tours. A bit ick.

It has a free public toilet, though. Of the squat variety. Smelly. No toilet paper. More ick.

But it is, again, picturesque. And I even grabbed shots of a few of the locals, including a couple of grandads on baby-sitting duty.

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Given that the walk was short and the temperature more bearable, we elected to walk back home too. Legs were, admittedly, a little sore — but not too bad. Just a couple more images on the walk…

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including this on a nice BMW bike pannier in the car park:

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A gentle stroll down to the water at Manarola, a sit-down for gelato, some more Ligurian cuisine to take home for dinner (more salad, and a spinach and feta pie) and a relaxed late afternoon.

Another three-train day tomorrow. Off to Florence!!!

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