It was my day to walk the Sentiero Azzurro paths between the Cinque Terre towns of Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.

20160602_164118The path can unexpectedly close due to weather and walking conditions. I was disappointed to discover when I tried to purchase the Trekking Card (7.5) in Corniglia that the path was “officially” closed.  I write “officially” because the park could not sell me a Trekking Card (rains from a couple of days before had made part of the path difficult to traverse), however due to the fact that there are Cinque Terre residents who live in the hills alongside the path, they cannot put a gate across it. So people were still walking the path, but at their own risk.

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As I arrived to the beginning of the path, there were several groups finishing and they all said the path was just fine.  So off to Vernazza I went!

 

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The walk is wonderful, but can be difficult and you want to make sure you are wearing good shoes that will not slip off your feet or slip on the rocks.  Each part of the walk starts steeply as it makes it way up the mountain and then it slowly starts to descend as you approach the next town.

 

 

 

Near the halfway point between Corniglia and Vernazza  you will find the Bar Il Gabbiano‬ restaurant.  It is well worth taking a few minutes to stop; catch your breath, enjoy the delicious freshly squeezed juice (or in my case a cold beer), and admire the spectacular view!

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Bar Il Gabbiano – View of Corniglia and Manarola in the distance.

We all know the children’s poem:  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;  Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;……

Well it wasn’t me who had a fall, but my knapsack sure did!  About half an hour after my stop at Il Gabbiano, I had reached an area where a few people were sitting on a low stone wall.  There was one spot left, so I decided to sit for a few minutes.  I took my knapsack off and was opening it when the weight inside it suddenly shifted and in a split second it had slipped out of my hands, off the stone wall, and down into a 10 foot deep ravine!
 
After a few expletives, a crowd formed with all of us trying to figure out how I could retrieve it. I tried this way; a gentleman tried that way; all to no avail.  I was starting to calculate how I would climb down the stone wall, when out of nowhere “Supernurse” appeared!
 
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Approaching Vernazza from the Sentiero Azzuro path

She was a woman in her 40’s who was a nurse and had apparently done rock-climbing in the past.  She says, “I’ll get it!” and before I could object, she was down the wall, reached the knapsack, handed it back up, was back up over the wall, and after a quick hug from me off continuing her walk !  It was all over in about 2 minutes!  She was off so quickly that I never even got her name!

After a few deep breaths of relief and with my knapsack securely on my back, I was off on my walk to Vernazza again.

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Once I reached Vernazza, it was a quick feet cooling dip at the port and then I was off for the 2nd half of the walk to Monterosso al Mare.

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Near Monterosso al Mare, a farmer with a little booth on the path was selling fresh limoncello and wine made from his own farm.  It was very delicious and refreshing and a perfect ending to a long and eventful walk.

I wish “Supernurse” had been there so I could have bought her a drink, but all I could do then and here again today is give her a toast, be appreciative and say, “Thank you again so much for putting Humpty Dumpty back together again!”

 

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End of day relaxing on Spiaggia di Fegina in Monterosso al Mare
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