7 August 2010
Some, me included could barely keep our eyes open to watch the match but we managed. Up at 6:30am organised to stream live action on two computers and watched history unfold, as Southland put on a stagtastic performance and maintained the shield with a 16 - 12 win over the Otago boys. A great try from Jaime MacKintosh, and some swift kicking from Robbie Robinson and James Wilson secured the game in front of a sell out crowd of 18,000,how we wished were there!! This was later followed by the All Blacks pumping out a win against the Wallabies 20-10. A few farewells on the driveway and we loaded up the cars, the pattons heading to Cinque Terre with Shnevil the Devil,Deb-o-rah and Mulvey on board too. Debs, Si and I were not surprised to witness some disagreement over directions from the two big Jocks bazza and Marie not more than 54 seconds from take off, but they toned her down swiftly, although I don't know many people who have satnav and a map going at the same time, I can see how they have no faith in each others directions when they can't trust Mrs Satnav!! It was quite funny later when Mum said, 'ooh she hasn't spoken to me for a while', we were like 'what do you mean, she'd not there to have a conversation with you like'are you enjoying your trip and if you look out to your left you will see a vineyard', oh Marie you wee beaut. I must admit though we did have to do a few laps around a roundabout, and a couple of illegal u-turns, one in which we coppeda toot and got the bird flicked at us, as it is actually hard coming off and on exits ramps and figuring out what ramp we are meant to take, but the ol Satnav 90% of the time is OK, thus far mind you. We stopped in a town called Lucca which is a renaissance walled city. The wall still stands today, it is 4km long, 12metres high and was built in the 16th and 17th century. We were limited for time so we had a stroll around, visited a church, few shops and walked parts of the wall. It was back in the cars and to Le Spazia, population 94,000, a port town which is the gateway to Cinque Terre, our main purpose of visiting. Moved into our accommodation then hit the marina for a seaside beer or two and a brief look through the square before heading to a restaurant that Mulvey's accommodation recommended called Inferno. Wa wa wee wa it was amazing! We decided to order 7 entree size pasta's and share them around. Delicious seafood ones, ad pesto ones had our mouths watering!! Cheap wines €5 for 750ml of wine so we nabbed 7 of those for the 9 of us and had a merry old time. We ordered a mixture of more pasta as it was so good for the main as well as more seafood - like vey yummy stuffed mussels - and yummy pork with a salad side. Unanimous decision, best feed at best price in Italia so far!!! We walked home as buses were going less frequently. We arrived back at the hotel and the bar was booming with peoe. I saw one young women with a tattoo that had MJ on it with hearts, I said 'oh well, Michael Jackson' and pointed to my arm, in the same place she had her tattoo. She laughed and said no, no no, explaining it was her and her boyfriend's initials, I said no no no Michael Jackson, she was laughing and told her boyfriend who thought I was nuts but laughed also. With an early start the next day we headed up to our rooms but Dad didn't get the memo that we were heading to bed and asked very loudly what we were having for a night cap, we as per usual we couldn't get away with not being told to be quiet at every accommodation we went to, but I did love the fact that it was Bazza the Beast being shushed not the human microphone Abbey!! Alarms set for 7:30am to be at the ferry by 9am via breaky. Just before climbing into bed I realised that I had left my camera at the restaurant, uh oh, will have to see if we can get it back tomorrow
8 August 2010
(Happy Birthday Jon)
Up showered, breakfasted and waiting on board a ferry (€15.00 each one way to furthest away village in Cique Terre - Monterosso) for Debs and Jeremy who stayed at another accommodation. Well time was clicking on and finally we saw them run around the corner, give us a wave and Debs flashed me . . . my camera which the fantastic waitress had chased her with last night as she realised we had left it, can't fault you Inferno!! We sat on the upper deck of the ferry in the sunshine and enjoyed the views of the 5 villages aka the Cinque Terre from the sea. We stopped in at each village to let people on and off and after two hours we arrived in the western most of the 5 villages - Monterosso. A quick look around and into the Mediterranean sea for a much awaited swim. It was refreshing but luke warm. Dried off, walking shoes on for some with Grace and I wearing tramping sandles, Nev in running shoes, Bradley wearing Chuck Taylor converse boots and Si, Debs and Jeremy donning jandals aka toe poles or flip flops as you might call them. There are 4 walks to do to complete the walk of Cinque Terre, a total of 12 km up and down varying terrain. The first walk was advertised as a 2hour walk and we blitzed it in 1hr 15min. Although it was blooming hard going, up steep inclines in 30 degree heat and half the wolf pack wearing blooming jandals!!! We arrived in Vernazza to Mum waving up at us, as she had caught the train as her wee knees are a bit less stable now a days, and Bazza who was drenched with seat as he had decided to ditch the train and left Monterosso 20 minutes before us as we were swimming, fair to say he caught the next train although I have to say he made the walk in a sterling time of 1hour 20min. Here we enjoyed walking around the town, getting lunch - delicious foccacia breads and freshly made pizza with a cheap €1.50 two scoop gelato!! We soldiered onto the next villiage - Corniglia, advertised as a 1 hour 30min and we cranked it out in an hour! I must admit it is hard to walk, keep your eyes on the ground so as not to trip over rocks and roots, avoid getting wacked in the head by branches and take in the view all at once! I nearly managed to fall down a bank as I was walking and looking at some lush grapes telling the others about them and next thing I noticed I would have off the bank! We gathered around some much needed shade (no swim here as this is the only Cinque Terre village that has no direct sea access) when we arrived and chatted with Mum and Dad who had arrived and bussed to the town before us. Each of us walkers paid €5.00 and Mum and Dad who did a mixture of bus and walking paid €8.50 which was well worth it!! Corniglia has the smallest population o he four with only 600 people, Riomaggiorehas the most with 1800. From Corniglia to Manarola we took 30 minutes to walk the 40minute walk which was far less hilly and more manageable. Time for another dip in Manarola, even Ma Pats got in whilst Bazza played the role of Mitch Buchannan from Baywatch on lifeguard duty role, luckily no one needed saving!! Simon and Bradley jumped of 7 meter high rocks into the water which again was a great temperature but very salty!!! The only town of the 5 that has a beach was the first - Monterosso, so everywhere else they lie on their towels on the hard rocks or concrete boat ramps!! Some were more onto t and ha lie lo's and air beds which were used on land and in the water - air bed on water appeared to be the best!! The last walk to Riomaggiore took 20minutes and was relatively flat path whole way on a stone paved flat path around the coast. All 9 of us walked this one, along lovers lane as it is known, where lovers hang padlocks with their names on them, some were pretty flash and were even engraved, there were heaps of them, unfortunately the lovers with us - Bazz and Mazz, Bjy and Nev had not prepared there's earlier. Riomaggiore is the eastern most of the villages and acts as the HQ of the Cinque Terre's, here is was time we treated ourselves to some cold beer before we had t wave goodbye to Debs and Mulvey who were heading back to London for WORK - suckers! I tell you what the beer went down a treat! It was sad to say goodbye to Debs - a few tears were shed - hers no mine, but I was weeping on the inside!! The rest of the wolf pack which had reduced to 7 for the next two days had dinner and then trained and walked home arriving back at 11:15pm - straight to bed, following a much needed shower for some and a large electric shock for me as I as pulling a dodgy lamp plug out to charge my camera!!! Fair to say we were out to it as soon as our heads hit the pillow!!