I’m mostly a solo traveler. I’ve gotten used to this, even comfortable. I’m not concerned that much anymore with getting lost in a strange city, I always figure I’ll find my way. Although I’m never really looking for it, the extrovert in me always ends up meeting people during my travels. I can just never shut up, so I end up talking to anyone and everyone, and in some circumstances we connect. That was the case as I left Vernazza to hike towards Corniglia, the next town of the Cinque Terre.
Almost immediately I ran into another solo traveler, Eva, who was going the same direction. She was from Norway and had a good story…moving to Italy just to make a change. In my brief experience, no one ever leaves Norway. It’s one of the most giving countries in the world to its citizens, so there’s no reason to ever go elsewhere. I love brave moves like this, and it reminds me that the only reason I’m over here in Europe is because of luck…I’ll take it and enjoy it, but I definitely didn’t do it the hard way, so I need to appreciate what I’m experiencing right now.
We stopped briefly early on the trail to converse with a Dutch couple about the World Cup match…the Dutch had just lost a few nights previously to Argentina. As we continued the hike, I remembered reading that the Monterosso to Vernazza hike was the most difficult…however, this hike was no piece of cake. It felt like we were going uphill most of the way, and I tried to stay strong so as not to embarrass myself in front of my new hiking partner. After about 90 minutes, we finally were approaching Corniglia.
The town itself was much like the others…very colorful with lush greenery and flowers everywhere. It also seemed like the towns were getting smaller. Monterosso has around three main streets, Vernazza two, and Corniglia only one.
We stumbled across a cafe where we stopped in for some drinks, and to rest our legs. Not much drama there, except for the wounded wasp that was crawling around our table for about 30 minutes. Early on in life, my Dad instilled in me a fear of bees, wasps, hornets…all things that sting, so I’m unable to take any action when I see one. Luckily, Eva mustered up more courage than I and was able to get the wasp off the table.
After this, we walked down to the coast to check out the view, and then made the final hike to the train station. Eva and I went our separate ways, but our paths will cross again. Nothing prophetic about that…we found each other on Facebook!