One thing I had hoped to explore were the beautiful and famous hiking trails of Cinque Terre. However I had been told when I arrived that they had been closed for two weeks because of landslides from bad storms. Still, I went to look and to my elation they had begun to reopen the paths!
However, I had a dilemma. My socks were still wet from my adventure into the sea. So one one hand I could be guaranteed to get blisters and have my feet rubbed raw and on the other I would have even worse with the wet socks. I chose to leave the socks off and hike the trail anyway.
Careful to pick my way through the path I began the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, one of the toughest hikes they have on the path that follows the coastline. This is the famous Via D’Amore, or Road of Love, and the beauty of it was incredible.
There are several areas where you can see right down to the sea, usually over a sheer cliff. There are many points where you are zigzagging back and forth up and down the hills to get further and further away from the sea to find a safe way to the next hill. Thankfully, there are many points where a rock has been painted to help you stay on the path.
It was almost like climbing through the Rockie Mountains in New Mexico back when I was in the Boy Scouts. I am glad I chose to do this last after I had tempered my feet and ankles with walking through the cities for the past three weeks. This would have been impossible a month ago. I can understand why they closed the paths, as there are some places where the hills tower over the paths on one side, threatening the path. There are also places where the path is barely wide enough for me, and I’m not that big.
I’m glad I’m healthy enough to have had this experience.