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Update Fifteen – Cinque Terre and Southern Tuscany

Last minute we decided to make the drive up to Cinque Terre, so we drove to La Spezia where after careful research we found free parking. Yes, it’s possible but we got lucky that it was Sunday and low season. At the central train station you buy a ticket to whichever town you want to visit. So we set off to Monterosso where we would begin our walk down. It was busy so I can’t imagine what it would be like in the summer. To my surprise it was uphill for most of the way and had everything from Italian women walking while on cellphone, wobbly seniors who I thought would fall over the edge, two Vancouverites in Lululemon (not us) yapping about how this was sooo….easy compared to Grouse while playing some god awful music on cell phones so the whole world could hear…the views were amazing, the villages beautiful! Couldn’t finish the whole walk as we were on time constraints and a good portion of trail was closed, nevertheless a splendid way to spend the day in Italy.

Yet again we had no idea where our next stop would be but only that we had to start heading back towards Rome. Found a great place call Refugio de ¬†Giulia in a small town Civitella de Paganico in southern Tuscany near the coast. Didn’t know anything about the area but decided to take a chance. It was well worth the visit….after a stop in medieval town of Voterra (probably the best views of countryside I had seen so far) we stop in Paganico where we were given the apartment as they had no other guest, pretty sweet!

For the next few days we hiked at Parco Regionale della Maremma, a national park on the coast and due to it only being March we were the only ones there and it was awesome! Prestige beaches, towers high in the cliffs, umbrella pine, wild boars….the next day it was cloudy and rainy but we headed off for a drive to hot springs in Saturnia. Another great experience as they are open to the public, free, warm and really relaxing….although I got stung by a bee and arm blew up like a balloon and I suffered for a few days. Nevertheless another great Italian day.

Back to Rome before and left for Turkey on March 19th. Next post will be late as we will be hiking Lycian Way in Turkey until end of April with limited wifi on the hike. Wish us luck!

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