That’s what I am, cactus! Don’t you love that expression? Just trekked 4k up mountains, past cactus, through olive groves and down dales then back up more mountains to the dear little cliff-top dwelling village of Corniglia. A pathway so well travelled the erratically placed stones are shiny with wear, or is that sweat?
(looking back at Vernazza)
Breathtaking! And I’m not talking view. Though you will see that was quite spectacular by the photos, taken at intervals, for self assurance really. Over there on that distant mountain the reward awaits! Of the alcoholic kind.
Meanwhile Germans with thick brown ankles, backpacks and ski poles are zooming by. A clutch of teens in thongs (Jandals/Flipflops for the non Aussies) are literally skipping up the path chattering away without even drawing breath. With no breath to draw of my own I bleat ‘Ciao!’ No niceties today. I pretend I’m Bear Grylls. Invincible. Nope. Not working.
Stagger over the threshold of what I assume to be the start of the village, thrusting fist in air in defiance, I am champion!!
The rocky song running through my head I look around for a can of Solo to throw over my face and ‘slam down fast’, just to lend weight to triumph. And then I see the sign. ‘Congratulations! Your half way there’.
Was it worth it? Absolutely! Did I reward myself? Yup! With a double raspberry Frappe, don’t really like Solo! The alcohol? Well that will be my reward for floating down the 450 steps to the train station on the other side of the village without once smugly telling the tourists gasping for breath as they climb heavenward…’Congratulations! Ya half way there mate!’