Monday 15th September – follow the signs

Cinque Terre means five villages and they sit on the coastline that joins the South of France. It’s a hilly coastline and the villages meander up the hills in the prettiest of pale pastel colours. It sometimes gets called the Italian Rivera and it’s beautiful. We are in Bonassola for a few days.
The clear waters remind me of Brac but it’s a close second to those beaches. The pebbles here are smaller making it easier on bare feet and the waters nearly as pretty as Brac.

It’s not very busy here but the Italian children have just returned to school and they look forward to another month of tourists before the weather cools into real Autumn. We are at a BnB. Our most expensive yet and the nicest yet. I can’t believe we booked this but thinking back it was when I was a bit grossed out at one of our stops and I said to Gilbert there was three criteria when choosing. It had to have wifi. It had to have short walk to the beach and cafés and it had to have an ensuite. So I guess you’ve got to pay for that.

Breakfast was an orange juice, brioche or focaccia and coffee down at the beach which was nice. It was an overcast day and we decided it would be a good time to walk the hills in the cool. Unfortunately we got to the beach and seeing the clear water stopped to admire and swim and before you knew it, it was noon and a two hour walk each would be silly, so will try and rise early tomorrow for that. We ended up reading, sunbathing and slipping into the salty waters at regular intervals. It got deep quite fast. After about a metre it was waist high and then suddenly no bottom but you could easily see the pebbly expanse below.

The rocks in this area are reds and greens and every shade in between so the beach is very pretty. It makes me want to shovel some into my bag…unfortunately the whole beach is littered with cigarette butts. Everywhere, which is a shame.

The area Cinque Terre is famous for the walks around the hills and there were groups setting off this morning. Some take a two hour walk one way, swim, have lunch at the seaside cafés and train back which conveniently winds itself back and forward around the villages and further afield. Some were on mountain bikes but they are pretty steep tracks so you’d have to be fit for that. There’s a romantic path dubbed lovers walk or similar as it’s so narrow you have to walk pretty close for fear of slipping down the bank. Probably have to put Gilbert on the inside if we do that one! No worries about getting lost we were told this morning. It’s all signposted. Oh yeah!

We were looking for a supermarket and came across the fishmonger this morning. Fresh from the sea.

We also found the bread shop. The cheese shop. The bakery. The fruit and vegetable shop. Now that’s a whole lot better than a supermarket!

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