Totally worth it. Two months of exercising, eating right, secrets, and clues, and now here we are at the Italian Riviera: Cinque Terre.
Ho.Ly.Wow. Completely, absolutely, utterly amazing.
Cinque Terre is a series of five villages dotting the northwestern coast of Italy along the Ligurian Sea. (The whatta-whatta sea? It’s an arm of the Mediterranean.) They are little towns that have been practically carved into the mountains, surrounded by terraced farm land for lemons, grapes, and olives. Mmmmmm. The whole area is part of the Cinque Terre National Park, which has been named a Unesco World Heritage Site. Heritage of the world. A treasure of the human race. Thirtieth birthday spectacular.
So where does the training and exercising and getting in shape that Dennis required come in? Well, the five villages are linked by both sea-side trails that meander along the cliffs, and steep trails that wind through the mountains. Guess which one we did yesterday? Let’s just say I got very used to the tickle of sweat rolling down my back. And front. And face.
We went on the most memorable hike of my life. Not because of the huffing and puffing, and thankfully not because we needed the first aid kit, but because of the stunning views. Everything from sun-scorched vineyards overlooking the sea (which was, of course, deep blue and sparkling), to shaded forest with a thunderstorm grumbling almost literally on top of our heads (turned out to only be a tease).
And now, sun screen re-applied and water bottle refilled, I’m ready for Day Two!