We left La Spezia around 11am on the boat to Montorosso. It is a beautiful sunny, hot and cloudless day, in fact we nearly frazzled sitting on the deck waiting to leave the port. No sooner had we set sail than the boat turned around and returned to the quayside to pick up two further passengers. ‘Was that the owner?’ I said to one of the deckhands as he coiled the rope. He smiled….
We sailed first to Porto Venere where we had been the day before and got some wonderful photo opportunities from the boat. We had to change boats here which was a bit of a pain with our wheelies and backpacks. Next we sailed out into the open sea towards Cinque Terres. The water around the rocks near the coast was a wonderful turquoise colour. Soon the first of the five villages came into view: Riomaggiore, so pretty with its little coloured buildings set into the rockface all the way down to the sea. I didn’t quite see how the boat was going to let people on and off here as it appeared to be a very rocky coast. It went right in among the rocks and sent down a ladder on wheels from the bow onto a small concrete platform. Passengers got on and off while the boat rocked up and down on the waves.
The third village was perched high on the cliff Corniglia, so was not accessible by boat only the railway which ran along the coast between each village. The fourth is Vernazza which has suffered some serious landslides and some of the terraces are in need of repair for farming to continue there.
Finally Montorosso, the bigget of the five villages with two sandy beaches and a tunnel through a mountain between the two. Unbeknown to us the boat took us to the wrong side of the mountain. My maps app showed that we were on the opposite side from our guest house so we sat down in a street cafe for a spot of lunch and a beer to decide what to do. There is no transport here and no railway station! mañana
Turns out it was a 15 minute walk through the tunnel…. all these villages seem quite close to each other. Oh what a wonderful sight when we emerged from the tunnel with our wheelies… clear turquoise sea, yellow sand and pretty Montorosso buildings…. quite a few tourists too! Our guest house is close to the front with a sea view. Very comfortable and I just couldn’t wait to get into the sea…. the first opportunity since I set off on my trip!
After a swim, or rather a float as the water was so salty and buoyant, we took a siestia back at the guest house rather than pay 18 euros for a sunbed and shade at 4 in the afternoon. Then dinner this evening was taken overlooking the bay. Fresh Dorado, well it has to be, this close to the sea! We also ordered a very nice bottle of Cinque Terre Wine…. so smooth and easy to drink. In the cool of the evening we walked along the beach and then explored a little further afield before rounding off our evening wih a Limoncello.