Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sentiero Liguria 10: Spotorno - Finale Ligure

Spotorno - Finale Ligure
Via Noli, Capo Noli, Altopiano Le Manie (19 km)

After two days of rest at home waiting out the storm system that was passing through, this morning I went back to where I had left off in Spotorno to resume my walk. Not without some difficulty, as there were no trains running between Chiavari and Genova due to trees being blown over onto the railway line. There was supposed to be a substitute bus service, but after I had been waiting around for it for some time, a man who had been waiting for an hour and a half got together a group of four to share a taxi to Genova, and I joined in. On the other side of Genova the trains were running normally.

Upon reaching Spotorno I set off on the path that follows the old road to Noli, the only link between the two towns until the stretch of the Via Aurelia around the promontory was built in 1817. Already the views were spectacular, but this was only a hint of what was in store after Noli, on the Sentiero del Pellegrino toward Varigotti.

Noli - or Chiavari?
Another town with covered sidewalks!

Saturday morning = weddings

Must come back some time when this church is open! It looks really interesting

Noli seen from the east. 
Now to cross that promontory - Capo Noli!

Noli seen from the west, on the way up to Capo Noli

A lot of paths converge here!

There are ruins of several ancient churches along the way, including Santa Margherita

The view from Grotta dei Falsari, "Counterfeiters' Cave", high above Capo Noli, where I stop for lunch

Capo Noli looms above

The path climbs higher and higher toward Semaforo

At Le Manie there are farms and mountain biking paths and a couple of rustic restaurants that rent rooms. But it's too early to turn in for the night at 3 pm, so I continue on, past a dog who looks like something out of a Dr. Suess book and some fine donkeys

Continuing into Val Ponci and some geologically fascinating territory

Hard to tell what's manmade and what's natural sometimes

Now I'm on an ancient Roman road, the Via Giulia Augusta

Coming down from the Ponci valley towards Finalpia - the first of the three towns that together are known as Finale Ligure

Coming into Finalpia, or Final Pia... the pious part of the town. I head for the abbey, where my guiebook says they host pilgrims... but... the monks are so pious they only host men... and they make them sleep on the floor. So says the lady in the abbey shop. So I survey the area for alternative accommodations and come up with a less pious and more fun alternative: the children's hotel!
Hotwl dei Bambini is specifically designed for children, in bright colours with all kinds of toys, bicycles, etc. When I arrive there's a noisy birthday party going on and everyone is eating Nutella sandwiches. But children are not known for keeping late hours and in fa t the place soon becomes very quiet. 
In low season the Hotel dei Bambini even accepts unaccompanied adults!

Today's itinerary

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