Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hello Again from Cinque Terre (12th Sept)

Hi all,

Just me again from this gorgeous part of the world.  Not in a hurry to return home.

Well, I've learnt so much since beginning this walking tour.  The following summarizes my newly acquired knowledge:

1.  Ensure that one can read maps before embarking on a self guided walking tour.  Or at least travel with someone who can, as towns may appear to be closer than they actually are (especially if following me).

2.  Wearing make-up (with SPF10) may make one look prettier to the locals, but it does not replace the need to wear sunscreen.  Foundation tends to slide off one's face after climbing 500 cobblestoned steps in the midday sun!!

3.  Having diarrhea for 3 straight days can be a good thing.  Even when wearing a money pouch tucked in front of one's pants, one still has a very flat stomach!!

4. Hot young Italian man sells foccacia bread in town called Manarola (took photo to prove it).  Also tried to flirt with man but foundation had already slid off face and only managed to scare foccacia man instead.

5. One must have diet of wine, pizza, pasta, foccacia and gelati while staying in small Italian towns.  Unless one has diarrhea and eats plain boiled rice for 3 days (yes, sadly that part it true).

6. One must stick to fitness plan before going on walking tours.  Walking tour means walking along narrow cobblestone/rocky paths, up steep inclines and down countless steps for many hours over mountainside before reaching civilisation.  Walking tour does not mean idling along pretty streets of small Italian towns eating gelati (unless tour is slightly modified by those guiding selves??).

7. Orange netting hanging between trees in orchard is to cover trees for pests.  It is not to be used as a hammock to rest during long walks through orchard (must remind Melinda of that one).

8. One must take many photos to prove one visited pretty Italian towns (and man in foccacia shop).  Friends must be able to see pretty towns from every angle possible!

9.  When using Italian toilets, there often is a need to not only BYO toilet paper, but also the toilet bowl and seat.  However, if unfortunate enough to need to utilise the 'hovering over small hole in ground' method, ensure that one runs quickly after pressing flush button (otherwise free feet and leg wash included).

10. And most important one - if a friend suggests you take a backpack (WITHOUT wheels) as your holiday luggage, they are not your friend.  They are a very evil sadistic person!!!!  Note: one very nice backpack soon to be advertised on EBAY (comes with chiropractic gift voucher).  What a stupid, stupid thing to do - why did someone not remind me I am 43, not 23!!

On a serious note, I am having a wonderful holiday.  The photographic opportunities are endless.  Just when we think we couldn't see anything more beautiful, we round the corner and are amazed once again.

I have decided that my goal is to complete an "Italy" calendar for 2010.  That may mean sorting through 30 gb of photos (by the end of the trip) to find 12 decent ones, but I am up for the challenge.  (Will be taking Christmas Calendar orders in November - Ha Ha).

Today we went to PISA for the day hoping to rest our weary aching calf muscles, but it didn't quite work out the way.  We had to hike up 293 steps to get to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa.  Well worth the effort though.  The view was sensational..and yes, it is leaning.  Felt very unsettling walking up on an angle.

Anyway, I hope all is going well back home.  And for those that asked, I am doing remarkably well with the language.  I understand about 80% and talk about 20%. 

From the beeeaaautifullll sites of Cinque Terre, it is ciao for now.

Love Joy xx

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