Monday, August 18, 2008

West Europe Road Trip - Cinque Terre

We left Tellaro and headed towards the 5 towns that make up Cinque Terre.

The area is a fantastic mixture of beach front and mountains.

After being waved away by the police at the first town (apparently the carpark was full and I wasn't too keen for them to see 3 people in a two seater) we headed on down to the second town of Manarola

After a long stroll down the road (very steeply down the road) we came out on a beautiful beach with mountains that adorned the shores. Surprisingly the girls missed a beat on this one and we soon went back to the car (via a walk that nearly snapped both my calves)to get their towels and bathers and headed to the next town for a swim.

The next town was smaller then we thought and we soon found ourselves looking for the beach at the front of a huge electronically controlled iron door that only opened when you turned a key that was mysteriously already in the hole to the side.

As the door opened all I could think of was the movie Hostel and began to wonder if this was such a good idea.

The door opened into a tunnel about 4 meters in radius, and was about 10 degrees cooler then the outside temperature. Judging by the size of the mountain, if the tunnel went straight to the otherside it was about a 25 minute walk............ if it went to the other side.

All of a sudden an old single cab green truck pulled up, kind of like a dyna truck, and a man got out. He roughly explained he could take us, Sarah, Alyce and myself, to the other side in his car for a cheap price.

Once again I began to have flash backs of Hostel and Wolf Creek but thought, bugger it at least the guy escaped it both those movies.

We got in the back and the guy started the rough drive through the poorly lit and privately owned tunnel which was 10 degrees colder then the outside and which we didn't really know where it lead.

5 minutes later, very long minutes for the girls, we emerged on the other side to find a lovely old Italian man with good english who explained how to get down to the beach. Unfortunately towards the end of his explanation he added that it was a "free" beach, which we thought he should rename to "Shlong Beach", "Sausage City", or "Penisville".

None the less we had our swim, however it was very short lived and we were soon on the way back through the tunnel and back to our car.

We decided that seeing as it was our last night in Italy that we should treat ourselves to a nice dinner with some fine wine. We drove back to ............. where we parked the car and found a nice place with fantastic seafood.

After a few beers and a couple bottle of wine, as much bread as we could eat, two entree's and 3 mains we walked up the hill from hell and sat out in the car park for a few more sneaky drinks before retiring to bed.

The next morning we awoke to rain gently falling through the sun roof, but also to farmers picking the grapes on the side of the mountains that surrounded the carpark in which we slept.

We did the last of the towns in the Cinque Terre, swam and sunned for a few hours before pouring back into the car and heading for Monaco and France.


the 5 Terre said...

Hi, just want to invite you and your readers to our site about the cinque terre and surrounding area
( in my signature ) and to the blog where you can also vote the nicest of the 5 Terre

Birdman said...

Thanks 5 Terre, you have an amazing hidden treasure in Cinque Terre.

Such a beautiful place, I encourage anyone that comes to Europe to visit this beautiful piece of coastline.