Wow, what a day…. just got back and washed the sand from my feet!
We set off early today to beat the heat! Arrived in pretty Vernazza for breakfast of coffee and twirly pastry with raisins. Lovely sunny morning with a slight breeze which kept the temperature down. I found a nice spot on a bench facing the harbour to sit and paint or draw or just people watch, while Dot went off exploring further afield.
The time just melted away…. I couldn’t believe I had sat there for 3 hours just enjoying my surroundings and sketching….. It was much nicer earlier on before all the tourists arrived. Then I started getting people watching me and commenting which was a little unnerving. Finally when a Japanese asked to take my photo with my drawing… that was it, I’d had enough! These Japanese just snap away at anything. Dot meanwhile found herself a lovely outfit…. just the sort of thing she’d been looking for.
We then got the train to Corniglio, the little village perched high on the cliff top. Very small, we took the shuttle bus up to the top where the views of the village and its terraces were stunning. This seems a slightly poorer place with less visitors. We walked back down to the station via a steep zig-zag brick stairway. There were some colourful florals on the way down. Half way down we saw what we thought was our train pull out of the station but when we got there, found out ours was delayed. This was fortunate as they only run once an hour on Sundays.
Our next Cinqueterre village was Manola. As we arrived at the station the heavens opened. We took shelter in the covered area of the nearest cafe…. and somehow spent several hours there. First a cup of tea and a cake…. my first cuppa since I left home! Soon there was lightning and claps of thunder and the rain was pelting down. Out came all the umbrellas and waterproof ponchos, as well as a few makeshift waterproof accessories. The tunnel to the station was just opposite where we were sitting and everyone ran there for cover…. a tunnel stuffed with Japanese and Americans!
We lengthened the stay at our cosy spot by ordering ice creams and then found ourselves playing dice which Dot by chance had in her backpack for a rainy day. It continued to rain very heavily for an hour or so before we were finally able to venture out and explore the little village of Manola. The harbour was very pretty but quite rocky and we watched crazy young people jumping off rocks into a very rough sea. We continued along the path a little way round the headland where there was a wonderful view back of Manola.
Finally as we climbed back up the steep main street we stopped to look at one or two restaurant menus. Spaghetti with seafood whetted our appetite and a huge plateful for two arrived along with a carafe of house blanco. This was sooo tasty but oh so filling. We took the train back to Montoroso in rather a giggly mood. Dot had her usual argument with the ticket machine but happily validated!!
We took a route back to our guest house via the beach.
By now the sea was extremely rough and we walked through the surf as it crashed on to the beach, threatening to soak us.
It was so exciting to see the waves pummeling against the rocks at the far end of the beach before we finally left it to retire to our room. Packing had to be done for our departure tomorrow for Genoa, but what a great day!