Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hiking the Ligurian Coast: Sestri Levante -> Moneglia

If humans could photosynthesize, we wouldn't need to eat for a week.

Start with an atypically good breakfast buffet and then set out across town and up the hill to the Punta Manara. It's a nice climb up past the very modern hotel "Vis a Vis", between walls, past olive trees and flowers. Good viewes back to Sestri and th rest of the coast to Portofino. After visiting the viewpoint, back down to sea level and Riva: the town with the long sandy beaches and very loud shipyard to render them unpleasant.

Through Riva, past the shipyard, and then up again through yet another burnt patch without clear paths, but quickly out of that and onto a dirt road. From hear on it's clear that the "burnt bit" is quite extensive: as far as the eye can see. Up, Up, up on the dirt road with the shade, in the hot sun. Ah... memories of Henry Coe! :-)
This went on for a long time. We have a break in the shade under a bush (huddle, huddle), then continue up to the ridge. From there great views to both sides (the advantage of the trees all being gone). More burn all around; this must have been a hell of a fire [it happened in 2004].

Along the ridge to some picnic tables, then off to the right along a contour to the next ridge. From there along another contour to a surviving patch of trees (wow!), where we stop and have a lunch break in the blessed shade next to a little stream. From this point on there are more flowers, but still no trees. We follow more or less the contour to the path to Pt Moneglia. Take that down almost to the end and enjoy a rest in the shade with views down the cliff ("Big Cliff Climbing") to the water and along the coast towards Cinque Terre. Finally along a very nice shaded(!) path into town and to our hotel.


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