Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cinque Terre

After the usual adventures(can Gill and I do ANYthing without an adventure? Just once maybe....) including realizing about 7 minutes into the LONGest tunnel either of us has ever ridden a train through that maybe it wasn't going to stop at Vernazza, including getting onto the totally wrong platform at La Spezia and having to run like Ben Johnson after steroids to catch the correct train BACK to Vernazza, including getting set up (??maybe??) by the guy in the bar whom Gill asked for directions to GiulanO's place and getting GiulianA instead and finding ourselves with an affiticamere (essentially a self-catering flat) which is not near the sea but is very nice especially in the morning when, for our viewing pleasure the commune has aranged for all the traffic to run past on the one-lane road which means that if they get to the corner across from our place and meet someone coming in the opposite direction, something's gotta give. It took us an extra 15 minutes to leave this morning watching the show because on top of everything else, it was market day. Think: 8 passenger vans laden with the essentials for a small village making their ways down this road and the locals who don't work here trying to make their way up! As I started to say: Gill (Giuliana) et moi (Giovanna) are in Vernazza on the Cinque Terre. Oh, and we couldn't get the stove to light so G went off and found the manager who must have thought we were total bimbos - doesn't everyone know you have to push the knob IN to let the gas OUT? We had to sign promises to turn it off before bed so we didn't have KABOOM!!

And today, another day in almost paradise. I started off on a 2 hour hike to Monterosso singing and giving thanks that I hadn't sent the hiking boots home just yet. This place is lovely but there need to be a few guidelines. They follow.

Guidelines for Travellers of the Female Persuasion (especially those on the Cinque Terre when I am)
1. Take a ziploc plastic bag supply for carrying away your used tissue. those little white wads on the trail are as offensive as the dogshit you have probably complained about in France.
2. Turn your cell phone off - especially if you are from South London and think they won't hear you over the phone. If you are too important to turn your cell off, you don't belong on the CT.
3. "No", "No, thank you." and "You go ahead, dear. I'll stay here for the day and (a) go shopping (b) go to the beach, (c) go for lunch with that cute guy I saw last night who for sure doesn't want to walk up 2746 stairs before coffee." are all acceptable answers to "Let's walk the Cinque Terre path." Saying "Yes", "Sure", or "You bet" does NOT give you a free pass to whine while you are doing the walking. The rest of us also chose to be here and don't recall listening to you whine being included in the price of our tickets.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

For those of you wondering about Himself, here's the latest. Last heard from on the 7th Oct from Libya. They have seen some Roman ruins, he has swum in the Med, his airmattress has developed an internal haemorrhage, he knows more French than he thought, the landscape has become a bit lunar in places, he has seen camels and they (riders not camels. At least, I know the riders were but I'm not sure about the camels...) were heading for some more Brit cemetaries. The various machinery is running well and the bank machines are non-existent (that's ok, sweetie, I'm making sure they don't forget us - just kidding!!)

And now, my faithfuls, I am off for a shower as that was only 2h one way and I walked back too. Hmmm.... maybe a gelato? Limone with the occasional seed still in it. Si, grazie.


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