We woke up to the sound of raindrops on our tent at about 8:30 am this morning. We were both disappointed by the rain, but soon came to the realization that we were here to relax and so that is what we did. We laid around inside the tent and did puzzles from the puzzle book, while listening to the rain starting and stopping outside. At about 10:45, one of our friend from Florence, Sean, came knocking at the tent door (audibly, since it’s pretty hard to get a good knocking sound with tent fabric. The rain had finally stopped, so we got up and got ready for the day at the beach with Sean and Ross.
We caught the 11:20 am shuttle from the campground back to the town of Deiva Marina and went down to the beach. It was still cloudy and a bit windy, but it was warm enough that it didn’t matter. Even better, the beach was empty of other people because of the weather, which made it perfect for the four of us. We started with a swim in the Mediterranean where we jumped and rode waves for a while. After tiring of that activity (the waves were pretty large and it’s quite exhausting to stay on top of them), we walked along the shoreline to sit on some big rocks that were used to prevent erosion of the hillside. A bit later, we headed a few meters up a little creek that was running into the sea to see what fun we could have there. Since it’s hard to have four engineers in the same place at one time without some sort of construction project springing up, we decided to build a dam with all of the stones and a giant log that were around. We worked on this for about two hours, enjoying the cool water and the sun that was finally starting to peek out from the clouds.
The most exciting part of this time was when an emu wandered into our area from up the creek. Now, emus are indigenous large birds (think ostrich) from Australia and to our knowledge, are not native in Italy. Nevertheless, this bird seemed to be wild and no emu farmer came chasing it down the creek. It stayed around the area for most of the day, usually being chased by small children. We were a bit concerned that it would get fed up and attack one of them, but that didn’t happen and everyone walked away with all of their flesh.
At about 2 pm, we were all getting a little hungry so we went to a seaside eatery and ordered paninis. We took them back to the rocks from earlier and sat eating them there. Afterwards, we headed back into the ocean for some more swimming and wave riding. We spent the afternoon split between throwing the football and Frisbee on the beach, swimming in the water, and working on our dam. We had to take a hiatus from dam building at one point since four small children had swarmed the area and were playing around the dam. It was a pleasant afternoon, made better by the fact that nobody drowned and we didn’t lose the Frisbee (we came close once, but Sean managed to get it back after a brief swim and with the help of the keen eye of Ross).
At 6:00 pm or so, we all headed up from the beach to have a nice dinner. We walked around the small town for a while looking for a place to eat, but everywhere was not yet open after the mid-day siesta. We finally found a lovely restaurant with a terrace overlooking the ocean that had equivalent prices of anywhere in town, so we sat down for dinner there. The food was amazing (seafood ravioli for Philip and beef ravioli for Rose, bruschetta for both) and we had a great time eating and hanging out with our friends. Dinner was a slow proceeding, lasting almost two hours, but it was very enjoyable with the sound of the ocean and the slowly setting sun. Philip even tried a sip of the local Cinque Terre white wine, which was good but still tasted like wine.
After dinner, we walked along the road above the ocean enjoying the sunset. At the end of the road was a one way tunnel with a stoplight that dictated when cars could begin going the other direction. There was line of six or seven cars there and at least four of the drivers had turned off their engines and were standing outside talking and looking over the sea. It was fun to watch when the light turned green and they all instantly ran back to their cars and hopped in (they seemed to have this drill down so we assume it happens frequently). Since we couldn’t walk any further that way, we turned around and walked the 45 minutes back to the campsite (with no post-dinner gelato, we might add).
We spent an hour or so when we got back playing cards at a picnic table next to five girls from the southern Midwest who were a bit loud and giggly from alcohol. After playing cards, we went our separate ways and got ready for bed. We each took a shower (shockingly nice showers for a campground) and crawled into our beds exhausted. Philip got a little bit sunburned at the beach, but is already getting better the next morning. For the first time on the trip, we decided to postpone journaling until the following morning because we were just too tired. We look forward to tomorrow, where we plan to hike around the Cinque Terre, of course wearing lots of sunscreen.
Daily # of gelati: 2
ACE (orange, carrot, lemon)
Mela Verde (green apple)