After the Rain
It seems I exited the Alta Via trail just in time as my following 4 days in La Spezia were filled with constant rain. However, there is always a silver lining to every cloud. I was once again amazed how I am always taken care of. I ended up the only guest staying in a little B&B ran by a very nice family who were also staying in one of the rooms because there home on the first level was being renovated. They said they had never seen rain like this as late in the season and wondered if there were living in London now I enjoyed my stay regardless because it was more like I was a guest in their home. Lots of great little Englitalian discussions over beer and dinner.
The rain finally cleared and I took an all-day hike down to Portovenere. The first section of my hike was to the top of a mountain above La Spezia littered with bunkers and artillery from WWII. Along the way I saw a small group of wild hedgehogs – my first encounter with these odd creatures. Unfortunately they did not stick around long enough for me to take a photo. I’m probably lucky to have seen them at all given that they are regularly hunted here. The remainder of the trail was beautiful, but quite difficult as it was on a very rocky and sometimes slick trail that required a lot of scrambling. I passed a group of English women on the way who thought I was quite crazy to be enjoying the hike as they most decidedly were not. Portovenere is mostly a shopping town, but very charming and complete with medieval fortresses. A must-see in the Gulf of Poets. La Spezia is quite nice, but lacked that certain something for me. Maybe it’s because I spent more time there than I wanted to involuntarily.