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Saturday, 26th October 2019

Chiavari

As this Saturday is the last day with daylight saving time, shall we use the extra hour of light to venture far away, in the Aveto valley, where wild horses run free and the unique landscape gave the region the nickname of “Ligurian Switzerland”? The idea is to hike to Mt Ramaceto, four years later. Back then, we were unlucky as the lookout points were shrouded in the fog; let’s see if this time we’ll find a bigger reward at its most famous and panoramic landmark: the chapel of Mt Ramaceto. The view from there is said to be incredible, as it encompasses the highest peaks of the Apennine mountains and a great deal of the Ligurian coast.

Regardless of the outcome, the walk itself is enjoyable, with old forests of beeches and scenic ridges. For starting point, we can choose either Parazzuolo or Passo della Forcella. The finish point will definitely be passo della Forcella. Be warned, if you’re coming from outside Liguria: the bus back is at 17:19, so this hike could end up being a race against the time for you. That said, be assured that 4 years ago everyone coming from Lombardia made it safely back (while half of Ligurian hikers got stuck for 2 hours at Passo della Forcella, waiting for the 19:18 bus)

The trail features 500 metres of elevation gain (the starting point is 850 metres above sea level, while Mt Ramaceto is 1345 mt high), takes about 4 hours and is rated as “E” (medium).

You may read more about it on
http://www.trekkinginliguria.it/Escursione_Ramaceto.html
or
http://www.rifugioventarola.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ventarola_g.pdf

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How to get to Passo della Forcella:

On Saturday 26th, let’s meet around 11:15am at the entrance of Chiavari station.

From there, we’ll take the 11:35 bus to Passo della Forcella. As we’ll be a bit short with time, please bring food with you! (of course, you may also get it in Chiavari, if you arrive early)

For coming back, I suggest catching the 5:19pm bus from Passo della Forcella. Alternatively, there’s also the 7:18pm bus (although that would mean arriving in Chiavari pretty late)

For more details about the bus, please refer to:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201910231505/orari_TC/11_a_r_fer_fes.pdf

As for Chiavari, recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards, I would go with either

Reg 33827 – 09:27 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 09:35) 10:28 Chiavari
or
IC 35533 – 09:48 Genova Piazza Principe (9:57 Genova Brignole) 10:29 Chiavari (*)

If you wish to sleep more/risk a bit, it should also be fairly safe to catch:
Reg 24529 – 10:11 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 10:20) 11:18 Chiavari

* if you travel westwards:
REG 11368 – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 – Chiavari 10:33

* if you travel southwards:
IC 35533 Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:29 (*)

Return will be from Chiavari station, around 6:30pm.

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(*) For those who are catching IC or Freccia trains:

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Saturday, 5th October 2019

Levanto

Temperature is still warm enough, so let’s have one more coastal hike&swim, before heading to the Ligurian inland. As you probably already know, taking place this weekend is the last big firework show of the year: it comes courtesy of the Madonna del Rosario festival, which is held in Bonassola every October on the first Saturday. The festival ( https://nuovaprolocobonassola.business.site/posts/4503411583702105098?hl=it ) is a visual treat, since it involves candles on the sea and a firework show, and usually is not so crowded, so it should be possible to comfortably watch it from the beach. My only doubt is whether they’ll do the candles, since the sea won’t be too calm, according to the weather forecast.

As for the hike, the idea is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: from there we’ll take the panoramic path to Bonassola, via Scernio. From the church of San Giorgio, we’ll head north to Montaretto and south to the Hop of the Hare lookout point. Should the weather forecast predict a calmer sea, we can also consider taking a short detour to the green/red beach of Sca, so as to improve the swimming experience.

Total hiking time is approx 3 hours (plus half an hour, if we head down to Sca), vertical gain is around 300 metres, trail is rated as T/E (although the descent to Sca is E/EE as it’s steep and even features a rope. However, it’s not dangerous at all).

By 5-6pm we’ll likely be in Bonassola, in time for the festival.

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

On Saturday, 5th October, let’s meet at Levanto train station at 11:14 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

REG 2181: Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 09:20) Sestri Levante 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

or

IC 1533 (*): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58

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* if you travel westwards

REG 21188: La Spezia Centrale 10:25 Levanto 10:55

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* if you travel southwards:

IC 1533 (*) 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:58 Levanto

REG 2181: Milano Centrale 7:25 (Milano Lambrate 7:32) Sestri Levante 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

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Return will be from Bonassola station, at 11:45pm if you intend to watch the firework show. Otherwise, 5 or 6pm.

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(*) For those who are catching IC or Freccia trains:

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)