Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hiking the Ligurian Coast: Moneglia -> Levanto

Three days by foot, less than two hours by bike.

After a shockingly complete breakfast, though town and then the usual: up, up, up in the shade. We relatively quickly get the impression that things here have changed since our guidebook was written (we have the 2001 edition). This is confirmed when the shed we're supposed to be looking for as a landmark turns out to have been replaced by a house and the path is clearly gone. Ah well... flexibility. We head down the driveway and take the road up into Lemeglio. After some confusion with signs we head up a bit to the ridge. Again, nice views in both directions. Down the other side, where we start to see other people on their way up. The solitary times are over!

Along the way we eat a few more overhanging cherries and continue on, eventually ending up in Deiva Marina. Through town, past a couple of nice looking hotels and a campground, then the day's real climb. Quite steep 300m up, mostly in shade (luckily!), but still with sufficient humidity that Greg sweated out the next winter's sins (the previous winter's sins were long gone by that point). At the ridge, the haze prevented us from enjoying the promised views along the coast... ah well. Around the North side of the Mt Serra with nice views across the valley towards the route of the Giro d'Italia. Short break enjoying the views then on through the chestnuts and oaks to the route downwards.

To Framura Costa and then an unpleasant half hour on asphalt before reaching Montaretto with all its communist wall paintings. Lunch in the shade and then the path down to Bonnassola. Along the way down we get our first distant views of the cyclists (and helicopters). Through town, quiet, then up (of course) up to the other side. Shortish climb on stps to the next ridge then down with more frequent views of cyclists and helicopters and town. Lots of German hikers.

In town we enjoy a nice gelato and enjoy the frenzy. We watch the cycling for a while (it's a time trial so it lasts a long time) and see a few racers go by. Here's Greg's impression of watching a time trial: wait, wait, wait, wait... motorcycle... cyclist! (whoosh!)... car (so you can see who the biker was)... repeat.
After this gets boring we head off to our room where we call it a day.


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