The hottest day hiking the Ligurian seacoast in Italy | Day 1 from Sestri Levante to Moneglia
We started the Cinque Terre hike when we decided to interrupt our Via Francigena and get closer to the coast. We had very hot days lately so we felt like getting closer to the coast may help a bit and also we wanted to have a variety of hiking experience in Italy discovering different parts of it.
So we booked a Bla Bla Car to pick us up from the lake Viverone where we were staying for couple of days to Genova from where we wanted to take a train further along the coast to the town Sestri Levante. We were lucky because someone was going in the direction we needed as the destination wasn’t very popular. The guy turned out to be a very nice young man – a guitarist and an actor and we had a pleasant conversation woth him while travelling.
It took us around 2 hours to do 170 kms of the way by car and we were out in Voltri to take the train to Sestri Levante.
The train appeared to be quite old and in a bit bad condition and there was even a special man who was out on every station and was making the signs for the train to depart. We thought this role was obsolete everywhere but here in Italy it was still existing.
In another hour and a half we were out in Sestri Levante – another quite big city. We didn’t have much time to look around, just bought some groceries and were back to the train station to go one stop further to Riva Trigoso where we found a campsite.
As the time was getting late close to 21pm we didn’t have time to look around or search for any place. We went there and met a night guard who said that we can leave the passports at the reception and in the morning come to pay for the night.
We were learning about the rules of wild camping in Italy more as well as asking different people about it and everebody was saying that in all the provinces it’s different. Overall in Italy the law doesn’t prohibit wild camping. And if you don’t see the obvious signs with the crossed tent it means that it is ok. But also you have to use always a common sense and never pitch up a tent on a private property and search for the places in the forest instead. Because the owner is more likely to throw you away and even call the police while in the forest it’s less probable that anybody will find you. Also the public places are not good options at all. So we were going to follow these rules from now on.
So the day started at 10 am in the morning when we left the campsite in Riva Trigoso and planned to do 13 kms to the town Deiva Marina. We had to go over two hills following this trail.
From the very beginning the air felt very stuffy and hot and it was hard to breathe. So we knew it’s not going to be an easy day. It was a bit cloudy at first but then the sun established it’s place on the sky for the whole day.
The trail started to go uphill and the first little part we have been following the car road then the dirt forest road began. It was all quite a gentle uphill going through the mountainous relief with some views of the seaside and the coastal villages. There we met some blackberry bushes and were happy to discover that they were very sweet and tasty. We saw lots of the black tree trunks and even rocks around and it was obvious that they were burnt by fire not so long ago. It was a very sad picture seeing lots of pine trees destroyed for the hectares in the distance. At that moment we thought about how dangerous can be the glass which we saw a lot on the trail because of how well the sun can reflect from it and easily cause the fire.
So there wasn’t enough shadow all day long, the sun was burning from above on our heads and it was killingly hot. At the moment we got to the top of the hill which was only 500m high we felt smashed by the heat. Also didn’t help the fact that there was almost no wind at all. We thought that we have never sweated like this before in our lives. It almost felt like we were in the tropical forest where you could get all sweaty in a couple of minutes.
The downhill from the mountain was more challenging and steep than the uphill. It was very rocky and there were many spiky plants growing around. Probably it wasn’t a very popular trail to take. On the way we got some beautiful views of the mountains and the town Moneglia.
At the moment we got to the town we were sure that we wouldn’t be able to do another hill today because it was absolutely killingly hot.
There we bought some ice cream and the peaches to have a snack at the beach. Also Dima was willing to take a swim in the sea which was a bit stormy that day but he did it anyway and he said that it was the warmest water in his life.
So we spend an hour or two there and went back to the trail. The sun was still high and hot and we had to do another uphill. We saw that it wasn’t that big as the previous one so we gathered all our powers and pushed forward.
As we walked we were in search for the camp spot but saw nothing but steep hills and rocky surfaces. We even thought to use the path as the only flat ground but that was dangerous because of the runners and bikers passing by. So we continued on. When we were almost up on the hill Dima went to check out the higher parts and said that there was some possible spot. It was close to some hunting stand with lots of plain wood and branches and the place was quite narrow but still the best out of all. So we used this wood as the base to even out the surface under our tent and it turned out pretty well. So we set up everything successfully. Then we prepared our delicious dinner with fresh mushrooms, cous cous, tomatoes, cheese, and even aubergine. It rarely happens that we have all the ingredients when we are stealth camping but this was the case. So we ate our very tasty dinner and were good to go to sleep.