Saturday, 4 April 2015

Our no-wimps-allowed walk from Monterosso to Levanto

The trail from Monterosso is a rugged-and-wild, no-wimps-allowed trail.  It should take about 3 and a half hours we are told. Huh! We set out with water, apples and focaccia.  Here we're at the tip of the peninsula , it feels like the highest point on the way from Monterosso to Levanto.  Rob won't sit this side of the rock, and although I am normally the one who is most afraid of heights, it is exhilarating to be so high.  There is a cool breeze.  The Italians have names for the winds.  Today's is "tramontana" a cool refreshing northerly breeze bringing sunny weather and calm seas.



We have begun the day with our usual fabulous breakfast prepared by Carola, and served on the terrace above our room.  Delicious fruits which taste of the freshness we are surrounded by.  Whole wheat croissants, coffee, cheeses and cold meats...


And up we go....with marvelous views of Monterossa and the coast line to the other five villages.



Many of The pine trees have fallen, maybe because of the floods of 2011 and the mudslides.


And higher, till we feel on top of the world..


The paths are narrow but not sheer here.  There's a beautiful breeze which keeps us cool.


And up...


We take it slow, enjoying the herby Cape like plants, the bird song, and the vistas..


The same rock as the first picture where we stop to eat our forcaccio- it's like pillow bread, sometimes with only salt, but quite delicious with local olives or tomatoes.



This is a deserted house used as a look out by German soldiers during the war.  You can see the island of Elba from here.  (Or maybe Corsica?)


The ruins of San Antonio Monastery.


And then we round the Punta Mesca and the paths are still narrow but death defying drops remind to watch each step.  


We are getting closer to Levanto... But it's still a long way, and we are tired...it's now more than 3 hours we have been walking...


Resting....



As we get closer to Levanto, the noise of a helicopter shocks the peace of the countryside... We meet other hikers who say that it's carrying concrete to repair someone's home on the cliff side.


It's thirsty work this hike, but I am fortified by the thought of gelato at the other end...


The wild flowers delight...




We begin to pass farms and buildings as we wind down towards Levanto.


A guesthouse which has delightful mosaics.


A snake mosaic weaves along the wall of the guesthouse.


And a totem pole mosaic outside the entrance.


Aaa, the blues of the Ligurian sea...


Levanto is a disappointment, a large town and we catch the train back to Monterosso after a good 4 hour walk...



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