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Sunday, 27th May 2018

S.Margherita Ligure

Is anyone up for a short but (slightly) demanding hike? Since 4 years have passed, since the last (and only) time we hiked to Cala degli Inglesi, I would return there this Sunday… and, with the water being around 20 degrees, possibly have a short swim?

The idea is to hike from bay to bay: we’ll start from the emerald bay of Paraggi (which we’ll probably reach via bus, although walking is also possible) and head up to the Vessinaro pond, before descending to Cala degli Inglesi, a secluded bay that lies somewhere between Portofino and S.Fruttuoso and hides some secrets (according to the guide, a Canadian ship sank here some 50 years ago, in its waters there’s not just fish but sometimes even dolphins). One word of warning: the way down is labelled as “EE” (i.e. for “expert excursionists”). As far as I remember, it’s not so dangerous or exposed: the first half is even considered as easy/medium, but extra care needs to be taken in the last part of the trail (which is secured with chains and rather steep, you can get an idea from the photos on http://www.cralgalliera.altervista.org/calainglesi010.pdf ).

You may read more about the hike on (scary English warning!):
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/trail-map/17-portofino-cala-degli-inglesi.html
(we would start from Paraggi)
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-santa-margherita-ligure/62-santa-margherita-nozarego-olmi-portofino-paraggi-cappelletta-delle-gave-smargherita-ligure.html
(the way back, it’s half of the trail indicated on the map)

Overall, the whole hiking loop takes around 3 hours, has 400 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and EE (hard, along the trail to Cala degli Inglesi)

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure. We’ll probably arrive there around 5pm. So, in case you’re interested in some focaccia (the focaccia festival is taking place in nearby Recco, till 6:30pm), you’ll likely still be in time for it!

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How to get to S.Margherita Ligure, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday, May 27th, let’s meet at 11:02 am at the entrance of S.Margherita Ligure/Portofino railway station (by the infamous taxi telephone).

Suggested trains are

if you travel eastwards

REG 33871: 10:27 Genova Piazza Principe ( 10:35 Genova Brignole ) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

– if you travel westwards

REG 11368 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:45 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

– if you travel southwards:

REG 33871 – 8:17 Milano Greco Pirelli (08:26 Milano Lambrate) (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

or

IC 35033: 8:10 Milano Centrale – 10:14 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino (*)

Return will be from S.Margherita station

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have 1 or more travel buddies, you can buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Saturday (if I’m not mistaken). It’s a “get 30% off if you’re at least 2 people” offer. In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket one day in advance.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can again get 30% off, provided you registered to the (free) Cartafreccia program. In case you haven’t registered yet, send me a message and I can send you an invitation (of course, you can also register on your own… but an invitation would grant us both a 10 euro voucher. In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket one day in advance.

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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (for example, at +39 329 7203364)

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Saturday, 12th May 2018

Recco

Hello everyone! Once again, it’s that time of the year when Camogli celebrates St.Fortunato, by offering a sizzling show on Saturday and fried fish on Sunday. Since the visually entertaining bits are all on Saturday, shall we have a hike in the area in the late morning/afternoon, then spend the evening in Camogli? For those who are yet uninitiated, the Saturday program features two big statues, made of wooden junk, that are brought to the shore and burnt at the stake. There will be a procession, with people carrying the ark of S.Fortunato across town… and plenty of fireworks (otherwise it wouldn’t be a Ligurian festival!).

As for the hike, I would pick the 2G trail from Recco to Rapallo. I read that they’re having free guided tours of Valle Christi: we could then end the hike in S.Maria del Campo, so as to visit the monastery ruins. As for the start of the hike, let’s meet at 11am at Recco train station: from Recco we’ll hike up to the Caravaggio ridge, where the 2G trail awaits us. The trail owes its name to the 2 gulfs, that can be seen while walking from the Caravaggio ridge down to Ruta. The path is quite panoramic, with the Paradise Gulf on the right, the Tigullio Gulf on the left and the Portofino Park in between. Just before reaching Ruta, there should be a trail leading to San Martino di Noceto and then on to Santa Maria del Campo: there’s not much info about that path, but somehow I’m optimistic that it will be in decent conditions (if not, there’s a backup trail from Ruta).

Hike is rated as T/E, with 500 metres of vertical gain. Hiking time should be 3 hours.

We’ll probably arrive at Santa Maria del Campo around 4:00pm. From there, we can either go to San Michele di Pagana for a swim or head to Camogli by bus, for the evening festival.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_confoto.pdf (trails 12+18)

and about the festival on:
http://www.camogliedintorni.it/Falò.html

Return will be from Rapallo, if you skip the festival, or from Camogli.
Needless to say, if you plan to watch the fireworks and the burning of the statues, you might want to stay until 11pm or midnight.

If you choose to stay overnight, take into account that there’s the “buy 1 and get 1 free” train offer also on Sunday (courtesy of Trenitalia and Mother’s Day)

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How to get to Recco, and how to come back alive:

On Saturday, May 12th, let’s meet at 11:07 am at the entrance of Recco railway station

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 24529: 10:10 Genova Piazza Principe (10:20 Brignole) 10:55 Recco

or

REG 11367: 10:45 Genova Piazza Principe – 11:07 Recco

– if you’re travelling westwards

REG 11368 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:52 Recco

– if you’re travelling southwards

REG 2175 + 2507 + 11367 Milano Centrale 8:30 (8:37 Lambrate 8:44 Rogoredo) 11:07 Recco (yes, it’s 3 trains, since they make you change twice at the two stations of Genova! )

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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (for example, at +39 329 7203364)

Hiking to S.Fortunato festival, via Semaforo Nuovo/Rocca del Falco

A record-breaking hiking group of 53 ventured across Parco di Portofino and went on to conquer the lookout points of Semaforo Nuovo and the recently opened Rock of the Hawks (speaking of which, if you can spot Leticia on the group picture, you’re definitely hawk-eyed!). The 11km trail wasn’t the most direct way to get from S.Margherita to Camogli, but allowed us to walk close to the coast; among many returners there was Michaela, who flew all the way from the Netherlands to land on the Rock of the Hawks; the two sculptures featured Iron-Man and the Bank of Uncle Scrooge being plundered; for the 2nd consecutive hike, we had a meal in a restaurant (dinner this time); the final show started super-late, but we did manage to both see the fireworks and get warmed by the bonfires

Hiking to Camogli, along the coast and via the Rock of the Hawks