The Bionic Woman Returns – Cinque Terra

 

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We didn’t know it yet, but, we were nearing the end of a several month adventure.  We had left home with hefty backpacks, planning to chase the pro cycling circuit.  We had seen a lot of cycling races, done a lot of our own riding, and had also found many other adventures along the way.  Coming off of the high of accomplishing some big things in my own cycling journey, I think I was in complete belief that I was the bionic woman!!!

We had been touring around Italy by car.  Italy had been one of our favorite places ever since the first time we experienced it.  With more time, and a go with the flow approach, we found ourselves driving around the southern most parts.  Now, here we were, in Cinque Terra, a breath taking small, yet extremely busy, hub for tourists and hiking.

Of course we arrived in our typical fashion.  We had stopped to poke along through some of the other towns along the way before making it to our destination town Vernazza.  Only locals were allowed to drive into the town.  Thus, we had parked our car outside of town in the only available lot, and hiked our way in.

Finding a place to stay was an adventure in itself.  We finally settled on one.  Although it was only available for one night, we were tired of looking and ready for some adventure.  It was indeed adventure that we found.

The day was moving along quickly, and we had wanted to get in a hike.  We found some lunch to fuel up on.  As we sat on a patio and fuelled our weary bodies, it was much too easy to partake in a couple glasses of wine.  The scene was amazing!!!  I simply could not believe what my eyes were taking in. We were literally right on the water, in this intricately built town, buildings scaling up the sides of rock.  The waves crashed, the people milled, and I felt like I was in a scene from a movie.

Moving along, we got ourselves going.  We ventured on to the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso.  Known for its trails connecting the five (cinque) towns, we chose the one that would lead us to the very edge to start off.  Since we didn’t have a lot of time before the sun would start to set, the pace that was set was fairly aggressive.

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After all of the mountains I had climbed on my bike over the last few months, I felt completely invincible!!! I hopped from step to step, up, up, up.  I darted around other people along the way to keep up with James.  My blood was flowing, I was buzzed from the wine, and there was no stopping me.  I felt alive.  I felt completely free!!

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As we neared the destination town, we came across a man perched right on the side of the trail in his hand made booth.  He was selling freshly made limoncello!  He had hand squeezed the juice himself.  How could we pass this by?  We couldn’t.  We chatted excitedly with this delightful man as we sampled his amazing product.  It had started to rain, and he was concerned about me getting wet.  He offered me a box to hold over my head.  As I held out my arms and lifted my face to the natural water, I declared to him that it felt fresh!!  He was completely amused, and declared to James that I was fire!

On we went!! We made it to the town in one final dash.  We took a quick look around, then turned back to beat the setting sun.  The trip home was at least as fast as the trip there.  Our pace may have been increasing as the sun dipped lower into the sky.  We did not miss the opportunity to chat with a couple people along the way and take pictures for each other.  We did make it back to town before it was too dark.

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As I sat on a step, watching the business of the town, the exhilaration turned to complete calm within me.  I was exhausted.  I was totally satisfied.  My soul was in a very happy place.

We refreshed ourselves, then found a lovely spot on a patio for an evening meal.  With nowhere to go, nowhere to be, we simply sunk into the deliciousness of the moment.  We had a long, leisurely meal.  We talked.  There was so much to say after our several months of adventure.  It was an amazing moment, one that I will never forget.  To this day, I can close my eyes and see everything about that place.  I can relive how I felt.

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The next day, the Bionic Woman was not so bionic!!!  I could not walk properly for days.  Hiking, or borderline trail running, requires totally different muscles than cycling.  I felt like an old woman hobbling through those streets.  I could barely walk down stairs.  Was it worth it?  Completely!!  Did we continue to hike?  Of course!

 

 

 

 

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