“When you are in Livorno, you need to do the Cinque Terra excursion,” the travel agent said to me as I was completing the booking for our summer adventure.
“Chenka whata?” I responded.
“C-i-n-q-u-e- T-e-r-r-a,” she patiently spelled out, as she informed me this was the highlight of her trip. Hmmmm . . . I think, if a travel agent, who has been to so many places recommends this, I better look into it.
A quick trip to Google and Wikipedia confirmed the information from the travel agent. We signed up for the all day (9 hour) excursion. Anticipation was high for this trip. It was the first stop on the second ten days.
As we are driving towards the area we pass mountains that look like there is snow on the top. It is not snow, it is Carrera marble. Wow! That’s a lot of
Finally we arrive in the first town, Manarola. After exploring this quaint town built on the hillside, we head out to Riomaggiore on the walking path, Via Dell ‘Amore. The day is starting to heat up, so fortunately there was some shade along the mile road. After spending some time in Riomaggiore we board a boat to bring us to the most northern city, Vernazza, where we are to have lunch on our own.
We found a little take-away shop that provided the perfect taste of Italy for us. A caprese sandwich with a chocolate tart and a little local white wine to complement the meal.
The heat is rising as the day wears on. I’ve been drinking from the water bottles we brought, but it is getting warmer and warmer.
Our final mode of travel to take us back to the bus is train. The tour guide, Umberto, takes us out onto the far end of the platform so we can all get into the same car and know when to get out. There is no shade, the sun is beginning to broil me.
“The train should be here in about ten minutes,” Umberto says to the group. Ten minutes pass, no train. I am standing in the shade of a light pole, sipping the water and wishing to hear a train whistle. “The train is broken down, so we will have to wait for the next train, it is only ten minutes,” are the last words I want to hear from Umberto, but he says them anyway.
Now I am holding on to the light pole wishing for the train to arrive. I continuously look at my watch, ten minutes pass. No train, but spots begin to appear before my eyes. I try to blink them away. I finish my water and begin to drink my husband’s water. Still no train, I am concentrating on staying in the shade, and all of a sudden I have lots of shade. I am laying on the ground and everyone is standing around trying to bring me back to the world. I just want to close my eyes and go back to sleep.
A wet washcloth is put on my forehead. A bottle of water appears and there are shards of ice in it! Oh, does that taste good! Eventually I stand up and the train arrives. We get on and I get a seat where I can put my legs up. An Australian nurse has been by my side since I fainted. She continues to care for me by urging me to drink the water, but do it slowly in sips. We make it back to the bus. Umberto won’t let me walk without holding on to his arm. I try to assure him, I will be fine.
At the Autogrill (truck stop) my husband buys an assortment of Powerade. I am instructed to drink them on the journey back to the boat. I do.
They say I hit my head when I fell, but I never had a sore spot there. However, when I turned over in bed later that night, I know what part of my body received the most force of the fall. My left butt cheek definitely had been bruised. Ouch!
Fortunately there were no long lasting issues from this incident. The rest of the days I tried not to overheat and continued to drink more water. Now I know to be more careful on hot days.