Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sentiero Liguria 15: Sanremo - Ventimiglia

Sanremo - Ventimiglia (18 km)

along the waterfront, via Bordighera

The last leg in this Long Walk!
Left my splendid chambers in Gioberti House early in the morning to meet Aldo in front of the cathedral, where we had heard a lovely concert last night put on by singers and musicians from an English girls' school, currently touring Liguria. We were hoping to run into someone ecclesiastical who could put a stamp on our pilgrims' passports, but no-one was about at that hour, so we decided to settle for the hotel stamps we had got the night before and start walking. Our route once more followed the waterfront, primarily on cycling and pedestrian paths along the former railway bed, including another long tunnel - though luckily this one was well lit, and made up for the lack of a view with overhead panels providing educational and entertaining snippets of information about the history of the Milano-Sanremo cycling race. 
Coming into Bordighera we had to walk for a while on the sidewalk of the Via Aurelia, a particularly busy road at this point near the border. At the end of this stretch we stopped to recover in a beautiful café on the rocks above the sea before proceeding through the town of Bordighera, where it was market day, and the crowded market stalls on the waterfront slowed our progress somewhat! Once past the throngs of shoppers, both Italian and French, we carried on along the waterfront and, at one point, on the beach, past Vallecrosia and Camporosso, with a view extending to Montecarlo in the distance. Finally we reached Ventimiglia and headed for the centre of town, where I had Aldo take a photo to mark the momentous occasion of my arrival in Ventimiglia before saying goodbye and wishing him well on his way walking across France to the Spanish border - his destination by the middle of next month. Then I managed to obtain a stamp from Ventimiglia town hall for my pilgrim's passport before taking the train back to Chiavari. Three and half hours on the train, tracing backwards the route I have walked over the past two weeks. Every view was laden with memories. Every glimpse of the waterfront or of a city centre revealed landmark spots on my walk. But I was absolutely exhausted after having walked 25 to 30 km a day for the past few days, and quite glad to get home, take a hot bath and return to more mundane occupations - for the time being!

Our meeting-place in front of Sanremo Cathedral in the morning

Sanremo in the morning

Sanremo Casino

Sanremo waterfront early in the morning


Bordighera waterfront: old railway station, now a bicycle rental place

Along the waterfront


I made it!

Today's GPS track. Blank spot when going through tunnel!

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