Although Genoa does look a lot better by daylight than at midnight, it is still very much a working port and traffic-rich environment. If you think driving in Italy is stressful, you should try going a few rounds with the mopeds and trolley-buses on a bike.
Accordingly, we took only passing notice of the underpass painted with cats, the recreated pirate ship and aquarium as we negotiated the Monaco-style Grand Prix road out of Genoa along the coast. By lunchtime, the adrenaline, fear and caffeine had subsided, so we pulled up to enjoy lunch on what must be one of the most expensive stretches of real-estate in Italy. The Italian Riveria of Levante is characterised by steep hillsides terraced by ornate manors coloured in all the ice-cream flavours you can imagine, faux-baroque castles, and hotels you can't afford to stay in...just as well we have the tent.
Amidst all this grandeur, a brief stop at a petrol station for more water was enlivened by the sight of the catholic church demonstrating its commitment to the vow of poverty by forcing 3 nuns into the back of a fiat uno. There's got to be a joke in there somewhere - feel free to come up with your own and post it on the messageboard (unless it involves a bar of soap).
Chiavari, on the shore, has a basic campsite (no hot water!) and you can really tell it's off-season now for them - the virtually deserted site's redundant canoes propped up like some kind of Blair Witch Kayak Forest, patrolled by an army of semi-feral cats. From having paintings of cats in our peripheral vision, in the morning, to gangs of strays gathering in the twilight, we unzipped the inner tent early the next day to be confronted with one cross-eyed macavity using our porch as a hide to stalk its breakfast...us?
Day 55.5km (Total 1289.2km)
P.S. Typing the blog together with one typist and one "helper" is like having Fr Dougal blogging with Ted alongside going "just play the fecking note".